No. 1: HTC
Taiwan's High Tech Computer (HTC) started as one of the nameless shops that supplied phones to telcos like Sprint (S). HTC's advantage, if you will, was its focus on making smartphones for a post-PC era.
In ten years, HTC has gone from making thick, clunky, slow phones to being one of the industry's top design leaders. When other players crumbled in the face of Apple's iPhone, HTC rose to the challenge as one of the most formidable competitors. HTC, with about $4.6 billion in annual revenue, has become what top phone shop Nokia (NOK) should have been.
The ultra-slim, glass-faced touch-screen Droid Incredible and the Sprint EVO pack some of smartphones' most advanced features, like Qualcomm's (QCOM) Snapdragon processor and soon, the next version of Google's Android operating system. Demand for those phones, like the iPhone, have far exceeded supply.While Palm failed to deliver and RIM choked and Microsoft stumbled, HTC has nimbly stayed attuned to the mobile Internet trend. Investors could use a company like that right about now. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.