Apple, Google and Amazon are the leaders of the World’s Most Admired Companies 2012 chart, unveiled as result of the new survey conducted by the Fortune trade publication and the Hay Group consultancy—a total of 698 companies from 32 countries were included. The companies, which top most of lists of the most successful businesses, are followed by Coca-Cola, IBM, FedEx, Berkshire Hathaway, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble and Southwest Airlines correspondingly. The first two leaders hold their positions for several consecutive years—for instance, Apple heads the chart for the fifth year in a row, Google was the second most admired company in 2010 and 2011 as well (see the last year’s list here).

IBM Research has joined forces with EKZ, the electricity utility provider of the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland to implement a new pilot project that will allow consumers to conveniently charge electric vehicles and monitor their energy costs, using mobile devices. The web app will also help utility providers better manage power grid loads during peak charging times.

Coca-Cola (#1) takes the lead in Interbrand‘s 2011 Best Global Brands report for the 12th consecutive year. Another brand leader is Apple (#8). With a brand value that increased a staggering 58 percent, Apple is this year’s top riser and, for the first time, it sits amongst the top 10 brands listed in Interbrand’s report (see the full list of brands below).