Symbian Ltd. and Nokia: Building the Smart Phone Industry

Published 31 May 2005
Reference 5274
Topic Strategy
Region Global
Summary

At the end of the 1990s the leading cellphone manufacturers formed a joint venture with PDA maker Psion to develop the standard software platform for the next generation of handsets. Competition with Microsoft was the initial driver. As the platform advanced, Nokia diverged from its partners on key technical issues, and became the leading force in the alliance. Eventually its leadership posed issues of how the joint venture could or should continue.

Teaching objectives

To clarify and analyze the dynamics of alliances in new industry creation. The construction of an ecosystem or constellation of participants raises specific issues of value creation and capture. Value layers based on particular technical or commercial needs take shape, and can serve as gateways or obstacles to other participants in helping to create the total offer. Platform leaders must exercise not only foresight, but also constraint in seeking to build and/or control these value layers.

Keywords
  • AR2005
  • AR0405
  • RD0505
  • INNOVATION
  • MOBILE TELEPHONY
  • ALLIANCE
  • NEW INDUSTRY CREATION
  • PLATFORM LEADERSHIP
  • NOKIA
  • SYMBIAN
  • SMART PHONE