Developer strategies in smartphone application markets

This exploratory study uses interviews with 29 developer teams conducted during the development process of a focal mobile application to identify four strategies forming the basis of their app’s intended competitive advantage. I then use objective data from secondary sources to examine which combinations of these strategies, along with the resources and capabilities of the developer team, led to timely app release, high app ratings and high app downloads. Preliminary results suggest that the emphasis placed by many developer teams on complementary assets as a foundation for success is misplaced. While owned complementary assets are associated with timely release, accessed complementary assets are associated with major delays in release or even outright failure. Neither owned nor accessed complementary assets appear to be associated with high rating or high downloads.

Dmitry Sharapov, Imperial College Business School


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