A Case Study on Proprietary Standard Success : Lessons from Strategic Approaches of Apple's iPhone

독자적 기술 표준의 성공 사례 연구 : 애플의 아이폰에 관한 전략적 측면을 중심으로

  • 정도범 (연세대학교 기술경영학협동과정) ;
  • 곽주영 (연세대학교 경영대학) ;
  • 이희진 (연세대학교 국제대학원)
  • Received : 2013.05.06
  • Accepted : 2013.06.09
  • Published : 2013.09.01


Technology standards have gained importance as global market becomes more competitive. Since a technology acknowledged as a standard brings significant benefits to the developer firm, firms in the IT industry tend to pursue standardization for the technology, being it proprietary or open. However, the paths or strategic implications are seldom discussed in academia. Therefore, our study uses iPhone of Apple, one of the proprietary standards successes, to further understand corporate strategies over two standard choices. Our case study suggests that iPhone's entry timing was optimal for creating a new mobile environment. Design excellence and user-friendly interface increased networking effects and switching costs among consumers. Apple developed independent mobile operating system (iOS) through improvement on the existing operating system. During the process, Apple chose proprietary standard and, by installing the same UX on its sibling products such as iPod Touch or iPad, overcame the subsequent problems that might arise from the limited use of iOS. Based on the capability of concurrently developing both hardware and software, Apple connected operating system, machine, and contents, which deems to contribute to its proprietary standards success. We argue that this strategy should be considered for firms which plan proprietary standard strategy.


Supported by : 한국연구재단