The tech industry revved up its innovation engine in 2010 and released an important set of new products that continue to push the boundaries of computing.
As in recent years, most of the momentum in tech in 2010 was focused around mobile computing. Smartphones continued to make big strides in both growth and development, with Android spreading like wildfire, Apple's iPhone getting a complete redesign, RIM releasing BlackBerry 6, Nokia touting Symbian 3, and Microsoft launching Windows Phone 7.
Of course, mobile also expanded its reach in 2010 with the popularization of tablet computing, replacing the old pen interface of Tablet PCs with a multi-touch UI that resembles iPhone and Android. Apple iPad sales have exceeded expectations and given the masses a taste for how tablets can replace netbooks and laptops for light computing while also serving as e-readers and media players.
A fleet of multi-touch tablet competitors are lining up to give the iPad a run for its money in 2011 -- the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first major competitor to launch in 2010 -- but, we have to give the iPad credit for re-imagining the tablet and proving that the form factor makes sense as a mass market device.
That's why the iPad is my pick for the most important tech product of 2010, despite my skepticism about it. The launch of Verizon's 4G LTE network is a close second. Take the poll below to vote for your pick, or if your pick isn't on the list then post it in the discussion below.
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Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).