There are lots of twists and turns in the smartphone market. Occasionally, some really good phones just fall through the cracks. Let's call these The Collectibles -- a handful of phones, years in development, that arrive or are set to launch, but instead they get cut down at their prime or doomed before they reach their full potential.
In most of these cases, it's a sweeping change at the company that effectively orphans the handsets.
For Nokia and Research In Motion, blame a full-scale shift to a new operating system. At Palm, it was the HP takeover.
And, sometimes, it's failure's fault, like in the case of Garmin's exit from the market.
Yes, you may have seen the 13 ugliest phones, but these are much different. Here are five "keepers" that could have been big contenders.
#5 : Garminfone
The awesomeness of this device isn't the fact that it was a GPS phone made by navigation ace Garmin, or the fact that it was powered by Google's Android. No, the best thing about this phone is that it was the first Asus phone in the U.S.
Asus is a rising star in mobile computing. The 21-year-old Taiwanese tech shop is best known for its motherboards and netbooks, but it has recently turned its attention to tablets and phones. Asus was one of the first developers of a Microsoft Windows Phone 7, but that device never materialized.
Unfortunately, Garmin pulled the plug on the joint venture with Asus after it became clear that smartphones were just a little too far outside the GPS specialists' competency. With Garmin and T-Mobile as partners, Asus may not have had the best supporting cast for its debut.
The Garminfone was discontinued last month.