HP is the new turnaround king -- but is it better than Apple? By "better," I mean a better potential investment. IBM was the king of tech in the 1980s, but in the 1990s it was the king of turnarounds, after almost going under but managing to come back from a negative brand equity, which occurs when folks will pay more for a no-name product than one with a negative brand. Apple, at the end of the 90s, was in much the same shape IBM was at the beginning, but Steve Jobs pulled off the most powerful turnaround in tech history.