Running the most widely used smartphone software, which has greatly expanded the competition for devices.
Figuring out how to correlate online and offline activity, which should lead to novel advertising methods.
Why: Computing can transform infrastructure such as electric grids and traffic control systems.
Key innovation: Is drawing on its research expertise and that of software companies it's acquired to develop services for many infrastructure industries and expand the market for information technologies.
Why: Extremely large-scale production of solar panels is reducing the technology's cost.
Key innovation: Developed its own solar cells and equipment for manufacturing them cheaply.
Why: Expanding the use of mobile payments will help small businesses.
Key innovation: Built technology that lets anyone accept credit cards using smart phones.
Why: Improving the electric grid is crucial to making alternative energy sources less expensive.
Key innovation: Developed wind turbines and other technologies for different aspects of the electric grid, from generation to transmission to distribution.
Why: It is redesigning smart phones and tablets so that they'll use much less power and need recharging less often.
Key innovation: Developed energy-efficient customizable chips for mobile devices.
Why: The rest of the consumer electronics industry is scrambling to catch up to the iPad. The iPhone still sets the standard for smart phones, even if its market share slips.
Key innovation: Its limited lineup of mobile devices all run on the same east-to-use software.