10 Surprising Brand Winners of 2011

Verizon Took the Lead
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7. Verizon Took the Lead

Despite its top market share, Verizon was looking increasingly out of step, thanks to non-standard architecture and the lack of an Apple offering. The Verizon-compatible iPhone and iPad 2 releases in March 2011 not only increased the company's share, but forced smaller providers AT&T and T-Mobile to attempt a defensive merger. The government blocked the merger and AT&T eventually withdrew, leaving Verizon dominant.

Lesson: All things come to brands that wait.