3. Google (GOOG)
Say what you will about Google's recent performance in the market and in monetizing its various products, but as far as innovation is concerned, there are still few who can match Cupertino. Google's Android OS, which Gartner says had a roughly 2% share of the global market, has a nearly 20% share today and more than 100,000 applications.
Android has also surged to first place among operating systems in numbers of smarphones sold during the past two quarters, according to NPD Group, while iSuppli forecasts that Android will take the lead in U.S. market share by 2013. The Google TV Internet television initiative and its partnership with Sony may not be setting the world afire in sales, but -- like AppleTV before it -- it represents an important incremental step in the merger of Internet content and home entertainment and a huge leap toward greater integration. For every Google Buzz that lands with a thud, there are 25 acquisitions building up Google strengths, such as online video, photo, search and advertising. If only the kids at the Googleplex could inch that share price up a bit.
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