On the Evolution of Mobile Platform Ecosystem Structure and Strategy

  • Rahul C. BasoleEmail author
  • Jürgen Karla
State of the Art


Platforms have become a core fundament of many technology industries. Platforms not only enable new products and services but have also been shown to influence strategies, shape business models, and even transform entire industries. Platforms play a particularly important role in the mobile ecosystem. The success of smartphones has led to an intense battle of mobile platforms, each looking for ways to become the system of choice for mobile device manufacturers, mobile network operators, and mobile application developers. Drawing on theories of platform markets, strategic networks, and business ecosystems, this paper uses a visualization approach to study the evolving global interfirm structure and examines strategies used in the mobile platform ecosystem over the past five years. We identify important differences between mobile platform strategies and discuss their implications for both mobile ecosystem participants and the future of the app economy.


Mobile platform Ecosystem Visualization Business model Strategy App economy 



The authors would like to thank the editors and four anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and feedback. The authors would also like to thank Vincent Hoogsteder and Gert Jan Spriensma of Distimo B. V. for their insights on app store evolution and providing access to detailed data.


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Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia Institute of TechnologyTennenbaum InstituteAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Business Information SystemsRWTH AachenAachenGermany

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