Academic journal article Manager

New Trends in Mobile Technology Leadership

Academic journal article Manager

New Trends in Mobile Technology Leadership

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Leadership and innovation stand as crit- ical elements for the development of a com- pany acting within the mobility area. Nokia was the first undisputed leader in the do- main, once it had launched first smartphones (the now famous Nokia Communicator) and the first OS for them (Symbian OS, a Linux- originated operating system). Later on, Research in Motion (BlackBerry) became the smartphone leader, by means of design in- novations (the famous QWERTY keyboard). At the same time, BlackBerry became the first vendor to supply an efficient e-mail so- lution for smartphones. Soon enough, these two first pioneers were succeeded by Apple's iPhone, the device that became leader by means of Touch technology, innovative de- sign and exquisitely efficient marketing cam- paigns. Subsequently, when Google launched Android technology, Samsung began its own smartphones development process and soon replaced Apple as leader of the market, with an impressive portfolio of mobile devices on offer.

According to both IDC and Gartner, the mobile devices manufacturer market is cur- rently dominated by Samsung. According to researches made by the two market research companies, Nokia currently holds the third position (more details are available within the "Mobile phone manufacturers market" below table).

2. Literature review

It is common knowledge that the aver- age lifetime of technology products contin- ues to shrink. High tech companies face the constant need to innovate to stay competi- tive. The race to market has intensified, and a company's ability to consistently produce profitable innovation will separate the win- ners from the followers in this competitive market environment.

Schumpeterian competition as a process of innovation and selection is increasingly viewed as the key to achieving sustained aggregate economic growth, by screening out the least innovative firms and promot- ing the most agile ones (Caves, 1998). With regard to high tech companies, where in- novation is understood more directly, for example, in terms of R&D investments or new product innovation, a more complex pattern emerges. The timing of innovation (Christensen, Suarez, and Utterback, 1998), commercial strategy and relatedness among business lines (Mitchell, 1991; Willard and Cooper, 1985) have a strong influence on the duration of new companies' leadership in one field. On the whole, the idea common to all these contributions is that innovative companies could grow faster, be more prof- itable and ultimately survive for longer, but not for ever. A maximum of ten years has been deducted by some studies. Only one in ten companies is able to sustain a steady and profitable growth for several consecutive years (Christensen, 2003). Only 13% from the 1854 companies analyzed by Zook and Allen proved to grow significantly and consistently more than ten years in a row.

The pace of competition will only accel- erate, and the success depends on identifying the right opportunities and capitalizing on them through superior execution.

Disruptive innovation, as introduced by Christensen, describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a mar- ket and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competi- tors. By launching the mobile phones, tele- communications companies surpassed classic phone producers. Years later, launch- ing the intelligent phones disrupted the sim- ple mobile telephones.

Nowadays companies know they need growth to survive, but innovation is not easy (Christensen & co, 2003). Managers know in- novation is the ticket to successful growth. When companies keep improving their ex- isting products and services to meet their best customers' needs, they eventually run into the "innovator's dilemma." By doing ev- erything right, they create opportunities for new companies to take their markets away. Established companies historically have struggled when trying to create new markets. …

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