If I asked you to think of a modern British technology brand, I expect you’d struggle. America and Japan are at the top of the tech tree, with brands like Apple grabbing Britons’ hearts more than anything home-grown.
Pure… that’s the only popular UK brand I can come up with. They seem to be few and far between, although Which? Computing’s Sarah Kidner reminded me of Novatech, a British PC manufacturer.
They’re so rare that foreign tech brands now represent modern British life. Apple, Sony and Microsoft are the three technology names that Brits most identify with, or so says a “time capsule” survey by BritainThinks. By the way, those brands top the survey in that order, with Apple in first.
Apple means the most to Britons
It’s all about being an iBrit at the moment, whether it’s picking up a Mac, Pad or Phone (without the lowercase ‘i’ those words look a little less iConic, don’t they).
Apple also happened to come out on top in our recent computer satisfaction survey of 10,000 Which? members. Apple received the highest customer scores, with 94% for desktops and 93% for laptops – way ahead of the competition.
Sony came second for laptops (72%) and third for desktop PCs (79%). Which American or Japanese brand came out in second spot for desktops? Actually, it’s the good old Brit brand Novatech that Sarah mentioned above, with a customer score of 80%.
Of course, since Microsoft makes computer software, not hardware, it didn’t feature. But it’s still dominating in the former space – a massive 86% of Which? members’ PCs run Windows.
Where home-grown brands have done well is in retail. Britons identified most with Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the time capsule survey. Cadbury topped the survey’s food category, but it’s now owned by Kraft. Heinz and Kellogg’s took the other two food spots – both from the other side of the pond, despite being central to British kitchen cupboards.
The future of Apple
Anyway, back to technology. Brits are clearly Apple nuts, willing to spend huge dosh on iWares. However, Steve Jobs’ recent resignation as Apple CEO might impact the company’s dominance.
It’s been a long fight for Apple to top the tech brands, with Microsoft always being a step ahead. In 1996 Steve Jobs said: ‘The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago’. Back then Apple was worth just $6 billion, compared to Microsoft’s $250 billion. But the tables have now turned – Apple surpassed Microsoft as the world’s biggest tech company in 2010.
Still, without Jobs at the helm, we’ll have to see how Apple performs in the future. Will it still be Briton’s most loved tech brand? I expect Apple will be in the hearts and minds of British consumers for a long time to come, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a UK tech company coming close to its reign.