The move helped support the idea that RIM is coiled for a spring launch of new BlackBerries and the possible appearance of the new operating system on one of the phones.

RIM was another of our top three picks for 2010, a choice based entirely on the company's track record of making nimble moves to stay among the leaders in design and function in smartphones.

The iPhone has certainly led the way, and now that others have begun to catch up, Apple may be due for a new endurance trick to keep up the pace.

-- Written by Scott Moritz in New York

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