TOP TEN IN
01 / Foursquare »
For taking the concept of the "check in" mainstream and heralding a new era in local advertising. Thanks to Foursquare, millions of consumers have developed a fondness for GPS-tagging their whereabouts and using smartphones in stores, making it possible for the next generation of advertisers, marketers, retailers and e-commerce giants to take hyper-targeted messaging to the next level--and challenge the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial.
02 / eBay »
For challenging brick-and-mortar retailers with its vast slate of uber-engaging mobile apps, which emphasize browsing over buying. Its core iPhone app has been downloaded some 15 million times, and the company plans to release a series of interest-based mobile apps focusing on fashion, motors, electronics, and home and garden.
03 / Voxiva »
For developing mobile apps that coach users through everything from smoking cessation to diabetes management. The company also recently worked with the U.S. government to launch Text4Baby, a mobile education program for pregnant women and new moms.
For succeeding at VoIP on both AT&T and Verizon cellphone networks. Partnerships with Verizon, Panasonic, LG, and Samsung now allow Skype to reach 500 million users.
05 / Square
For enabling small businesses to process credit-card payments by iPhone, iPad, or Android. There are no monthly minimums or contracts, only a per-transaction fee that tops out at 2.75% (plus 15 cents for entering card numbers manually).
06 / Epocrates »
For software that enables mobile access to electronic health records.
07 / Usablenet
For turning cellphones into retail-store shopping tools. The mobile websites it has built for the likes of Bloomingdale's, Crate & Barrel, Brookstone, CVS, Staples, Sears, and American Eagle let users make wish lists, edit gift registries, and send products to friends.
08 / JPMorgan Chase
For making banking mobile. Using its iPhone app, customers can deposit a check, make wire transfers, pay bills, and send money to friends. New credit card products (such as Sapphire) also let them see their own spending data, which makes Chase a competitor to Intuit and Mint.com.
09 / Clearwire
For igniting the 4G arms race, taking a considerable lead, and then disrupting the mobile data market by releasing a prepaid, dirt-cheap 4G hotspot, the Rover. Who needs an unlimited iPhone data plan when you have an unlimited broadband-speed connection coming out of a coaster?
10 / Greystripe
For figuring out how to run Flash ads inside iOS. With iAd and smartphone growth driving up mobile ad rates, this pioneer mobile advertising platform (backed by Disney and NBCUniversal) is likely to make piles of money in the next year or two.