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Top Ten Disruptors Empowering Consumers

Every now and then, a product or business comes along that manages to shift a paradigm, completely changing the way consumers interact with goods and services. Such disruption, though, often comes at the expense of established businesses — and even entire industries.

Apple, AAPL,is arguably the leader in disruption, having completely reshaped the music world with the iPod, led the consumer transition to smartphones with the iPhone and dinged the laptop computer industry with the iPad.

Amazon, AMZN,is a close second, altering people's views about online shopping and upending the retail landscape. Even Facebook, FB,has earned a spot in the hall of fame, as it has changed the way people communicate and reconnect.

Those three companies are hardly alone, though. Here are 10 other businesses that made people's lives easier, but upended industries in the process — sometimes at the expense of the disruptor.

By Chris Morris,
Special to CNBC.com


Published 18 Oct. 2012

Photo: John Lund | Blend Images | Getty Images