Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade. March 2015, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 21-33
This paper examines how recent trends in the smartphone industry may be expanding previous conceptions of the industry and its boundaries. The increasing importance of Internet and cloud-based services — which in many ways lie outside the control of the physical device, operating system, and even the cellular network — seems to be changing the roles and strategies of key firms in the ecosystem. Using industry architecture and platform theory, we examine how the key firms seem to be reacting to these new changes. Our analysis indicates that the platform “bottleneck,” or key control point, is moving away from the device and into the cloud, where a new meta-platform based on the Internet may be emerging.