The telecommunications industry currently undergoes a dramatic evolution. Faced with the development of new uses on mobile phones, incumbents of the mobile phone industry (network operators and devices manufacturers) must adapt to a new technological and competitive environment. This new environment technologically relies on expansions of uses of digital objects (software and contents that can be either of professional, personal or leisure use) and thereby serves as a launching pad for actors more or less mature coming from software industries, copyright-based industries or the Internet industry. Based on this observation, our thesis rests on the idea that incumbents of the mobile phone industry must adapt to this new environment in order to maintain their position, and must learn to coordinate with those new actors as coordination is required for this market to emerge.
We therefore start with a historical analysis of the emergence of the mobile services industry so as to position the issues at stake regarding coordination. We then focus on “open source” projects for smartphone operating systems in order to analyse the interest of an open strategy. Last, we design an evolutionist simulation model so that to analyse the actors’ strategies linked with the structure of the industry and its effects on the technological structure.