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2009 was chock-full of new trends and innovations. The relentless march of new technologies brought about more powerful devices in smaller packages, enabling such new devices as advanced smartphones, more e-book designs, and powerful lightweight netbooks.
Let's take a quick review of some of this year's best new products. Leave a comment below on what you think the best product or trend was, in 250 words or fewer, and the best response will win a free year of our growth-oriented Rule Breakers newsletter!
Smartphones: The year saw numerous new models that kept this growing field as competitive as ever. Palm started out the year by announcing its sleek Pre phone, which featured a slick interface that allowed easy multitasking between applications. At the tail end of the year, Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) released its Droid phone to rave reviews. Of course, you couldn't forget about Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) most recent revamp of its iPhone, which featured a big bump in processor speed that promises to make the phone a more serious force in mobile gaming.
E-readers: The reigning king of e-books, Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) , released a new generation of Kindles. However, several competitors served notice that Amazon won't control this market without a fight. Sony and Barnes & Noble released competing offerings, while several small, private companies, like Plastic Logic and iRex, also announced ambitions in this growing segment.
Netbooks: The year saw several advancements in netbooks. In addition to new netbooks from the usual players, like Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) , Hewlett-Packard, and Asian manufacturers like Asus, Nokia jumped into the segment. However, netbook news wasn't limited to hardware advancements. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) announced a new operating system that's tailored to run on netbooks. Its Chrome OS will require fewer resources, focusing the computer instead on running through a Web browser.
All the products above might foreshadow a larger trend toward more lightweight, Internet-connected consumer devices that bridge the gap between products listed above. Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) certainly believes this; it recently announced a new product that will function in a space between netbooks and smartphones. Apple's rumored tablet or Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Courier concept also look to test consumer demand for this niche. And we haven't even mentioned innovative trends in energy or health care -- such as online medical records.
So leave a comment below on what you thought this year's hottest product or trend was and why. You can elaborate on an idea from above or let the Fool community know about something else. The best comment under 250 words -- as determined by our editorial staff -- wins a one-year digital subscription to our Rule Breakers newsletter. You can review full contest rules here. Also, remember to keep checking into Fool.com all day as we're releasing new contests every hour!