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People Now Think Amazon Is Better Than Apple

Alyson Shontell

Harris Interactive released its 14th annual poll. It asked 14,000 people what they think of the top 60 corporations in America.

Last year, Apple had the best reputation ranking. This year, it fell Amazon.

Harris Interactive asked about six different things to determine each company's reputation: social responsibility, emotional appeal, financial performance, products and services, vision and leadership, and workplace environment.

Although Apple was named the top corporation in terms of financial performance and vision and leadership, it wasn't enough to beat out Amazon overall.

Here's how the results turned out:

If you followed Apple's and Amazon's latest earnings calls, the results of this survey may seem puzzling. Amazon missed while Apple meet Wall Street's expectations. Amazon's pile of cash is minuscule compared to Apple's. Yet Amazon's stock has been soaring while Apple's is tanking.

What's going on, and is the public mad?

Here's a possible explanation at length.

In short, some feel Apple's best days, with rapid revenue growth and sky-high margins, are behind it. Meanwhile, Amazon leads a hot e-commerce sector which has a huge barrier to entry. And while Amazon's profit margin is low, it seems to be increasing.

That said, the normal, non-investors who made up the bulk of this survey probably don't care what Wall Street analysts think or how much cash Apple has in the bank. Their preference for Amazon over Apple may be more superficial.

"Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive," Robert Fronk, Harris Interactive's EVP of Reputation Management, says. "And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family."

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