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Structuring the Smartphone Industry. Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?

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  • Kenney, Martin
  • Pon, Bryan
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    Abstract

    Until the introduction of the iPhone, cellular telephony and the Internet were essentially separate. The Internet was a PC-based service, while mobile telephony was conducted on a telephone. Though there were mobile products that provided communication services such as email, web access and other Internet services were either unavailable or inferior to those available on a PC. The “smartphone” cate-gory redefined by Apple meant the convergence of traditional mobile telephony, Internet services, and personal computing. As these sectors merge into a single device, formerly separate industry architec-tures and their constituent firms are being forced into direct competition. We test theories of industry architecture and technological platforms regarding their ability to explain the strategies of key entrants in navigating the transition. We analyze in detail the actions and strategies of four major competitors, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, and, more briefly, Research in Motion and HP/Palm, from the framework of technological platform theory. Our analysis suggests that currently some competitors are following traditional platform strategies, but that Google and Apple appear to have adopted strate-gies at odds with platform literature. We examine how the dynamics of this convergence may lead to a reconsideration of certain tenets of platform theory.

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    File URL: http://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/dp1238.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1238.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1238

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    Related research

    Keywords: platforms; industry structure; smart phones; Android; iPhone;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Joel West & Siobhan O'mahony, 2008. "The Role of Participation Architecture in Growing Sponsored Open Source Communities," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 145-168.
    2. West, Joel & Mace, Michael, 0. "Browsing as the killer app: Explaining the rapid success of Apple's iPhone," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5-6), pages 270-286, June.
    3. West, Joel, 2003. "How open is open enough?: Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1259-1285, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Kenji Kushida & Jonathan Murray & John Zysman, 2011. "Diffusing the Cloud: Cloud Computing and Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 209-237, September.
    2. Dan Breznitz & Martin Kenney & Petri Rouvinen & John Zysman & Pekka Ylä-Anttila, 2011. "Value Capture and Policy Design in a Digital Economy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 203-207, September.
    3. Kenji KUSHIDA & Jonathan MURRAY & John ZYSMAN, 2012. "The Gathering Storm: Analyzing the Cloud Computing Ecosystem and Implications for Public Policy," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(85), pages 63-85, 1st quart.
    4. Seppälä, Timo & Kenney, Martin, 2012. "Competitive Dynamics, IP Litigation and Acquisitions - The Struggle for Positional Advantage in the Emerging Mobile Internet," Discussion Papers 1288, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    5. Kenji Kushida, 2011. "Leading without Followers: How Politics and Market Dynamics Trapped Innovations in Japan’s Domestic “Galapagos” Telecommunications Sector," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 279-307, September.

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