Modularity and competition for bundles: is à la carte Android à la carte enough?

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Chillin'Competition

Smart a la carte

The slides on the Android investigation Alfonso uploaded a few weeks ago got me thinking. In many ways, this is a dream case for an academic. As in Macondo, everything is so recent that many things lack names. Fertile ground for categorisation, which is what I enjoy doing and, more important, what I happen to do for a living. On a related note, and since it has become de rigueur, allow me to disclose that I have absolutely nothing to disclose.

As I see it, the Android investigation is guided by two main themes: modularity and competition for bundles.

Modularity – I see in the case a value chain composed of three main layers: mobile handsets, operating systems and, on top of it, a set of core applications. Interestingly, not all firms follow the same business model. The different strategies relate to the different levels of modularity each of the…

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