Abstract: JIE, 2011

The trivialization of smartphones has given rise to an architectural reconfiguration of the mobile operating system innovation process. We have also seen the recent emergence of three “open source” consortia: the Symbian and LiMo Foundations, and the Open Handset Alliance. In this exploratory paper, we analyse the coherence of these consortia using an open source framework to perform the necessary reconfiguration at both the technological and organizational level. In order to evaluate the coherence of this strategy, we analyse the ability of these consortia to produce standards. Bearing in mind the exploratory nature of this research, this allows us to demonstrate that, although these consortia exhibit original forms of “open innovation”, they find it difficult to produce consortia standards by means of vertical coordination. Equally, we consider various scenarios dealing with the construction of standards, examining in particular horizontal collaboration between these consortia.
Keywords: platform architecture, standards, mobile operating system, mobile industry, open innovation, open source
JEL codes: L15, L17, L86, L96, O33, O34