Chapter 4: Breakthrough Platform Strategies

    Four dimensions of platform thinking in M-business (Fig. 4.1, p. 88)
  1. Client-side software platforms (OSs, tools, browsers) - 4 dominant entities
    1. Palm Computing's Palm OS
      • 1992 Palm Computing formed by Jeff Hawkins (had worked for Intel, GRiD), et al.
      • 1993 first software product (PIM, handwriting reco) - in Casio's Zoomer
      • 1995 bought by U.S. Robotics
      • 1996 first PalmPilot connected organizer
      • 1997 U.S. Robotics bought by 3Com
      • 1998 Hawkins leaves to form Handspring
      • 1999 Handspring's Visor launched
      • 1999 3Com releases Internet-ready Palm VII
      • 2000 Palm spun off by 3Com
    2. Microsoft WinCE
    3. Symbian (consortium of Psion, Ericsson, Motorola, Matsushita, Nokia) EPOC
    4. Research in Motion
  2. Device platforms - 5 markets
    1. Feature phones (cell or mobile phones)
    2. Smart phones (both voice and data capabilities)
    3. Handheld organizers and pagers (compact PIMs and e-mail pagers)
        e.g., Handspring
      • first to create a hardware extension platform (called Springboard)
      • Visor has potential to become a leading mobile Internet appliance
    4. Industrial handhelds (specialized devices, e.g. bar code scanners)
    5. Pocket PCs (miniature PCs)
  3. Hardware platforms (microprocessors, chipsets, DSP, flash memory) - range includes
    1. Communication protocol standards - Qualcomm
    2. Design platforms - ARM Holdings (formerly Advanced RISC Machine)
    3. Microprocessor platforms - Intel StrongARM, Motorola Dragonball
      (two sectors: compute-intensive and communications-intensive processors)
    4. Multimedia and speech recognition platforms - TI's OMAP
  4. Web services platforms (OSs, tools, prog. lang.)- 6 network configurations
    (note: these 6 networks are no longer discrete, isolated entities)
    1. Desktop information web - narrowband dial-up
    2. Broadband media web - always-on DSL or cable modem
    3. Interactive appliance web - central hub in home connects to frig, TV, home security, PC, etc.
    4. Mobile handheld web - broadband
    5. Voice web - characterized by telephone and voice services, incl. speech reco and synthesis
    6. Supply chain web - B2B machines communicate with each other
Final thought - many companies are transforming their strategies from ones focused on creating products to ones focused on creating technology platforms