Investigating an Open Source based platform strategy at Sony Ericsson
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of the thesis is to investigate whether the future development of the Digital Home creates incentives for Sony Ericsson to initiate an Open Source based platform strategy. Issues: The main issues presented: To create future scenarios of the Digital Home environment and describe its ecosystem of consumer electronics and mobile phones. To investigate the competitive advantage for Sony Ericsson to implement an Open Source based platform in each of these scenarios. Method: In order to succeed with the purpose, the current market situation is studied and development trends are identified. A prediction of the development of the industry is made on the basis of a Micro Delphi analysis in combination with studying written sources. Future scenarios are constructed and used as a foundation for the analysis. Conclusions: The scenarios presented in this paper all create incentives for Sony Ericsson to initiate an Open Source based platform strategy. Such a strategy would put the company in a good position if an Open Source based platform, especially a Linux platform, would become one of the leading. An Open Source based platform has the potential to become leading due to the nature of Open Source which attracts third party development especially from Internet service providers, crucial for survival in the industry. With an Open Source based platform, there is also an opportunity for Sony Ericsson to create a common platform with Sony and together build an ecosystem of devices for the future Digital Home. However, due to the instable value chain and the uncertainty of its structure in five years, it is the authors’ believe that an Open Source based platform should not constitute the single one, but be one of several in a platform portfolio where an Open Source based platform would be the long-term strategy.
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