Mobile technology enables enterprises to invent new business models by applying new forms of organization or offering new products and services. In order to assess these new business models there has to be a methodology that allows classifying mobile commerce business models according to their typical characteristics. For that purpose a business model typology is introduced. Doing so, building blocks in the form of generic business model types are identified, which can be combined to create concrete business models. The business model typology presented is conceptualized as generic as possible to be generally applicable even to business models that are not known today.
Mobile Commerce: A Definition
Before addressing the business model typology for MC, our understanding of MC needs to be defined. If one does agree with the Global Mobile Commerce Forum, mobile commerce can be defined as “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s device, anywhere, anytime via wireless networks.” Although this is no precise definition yet, the underlying idea becomes clear. Mobile commerce is considered a specific characteristic of electronic commerce (EC) and as such comprises specific attributes, as for example the utilization of wireless communication and mobile devices. Thus, mobile commerce can be defined as any form of business transaction in which the participants use mobile electronic communication techniques in connection with mobile devices for initiation, agreement or the provision of services. The concept of mobile electronic communication techniques is used for different forms of wireless communication. That includes foremost cellular radio, but also technologies like Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, or infrared communication. We use the term mobile devices for information and communication devices that have been developed for mobile use. Thus, the category of mobile devices encompasses a wide spectrum of appliances. Although the laptop is often included in the definition of mobile devices, we have reservations to include it here without precincts due to its special characteristics: it can be moved easily, but it is usually not used during that process. For that reason we argue that the laptop can only be seen to some extent as a mobile device.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Revenue Model: The part of the business model describing the revenue sources, their volume and their distribution.
Business Model Types: Building blocks for the creation of concrete business models.
Business model: Business model is defined as the abstracting description of the functionality of a business idea, focusing on the value proposition, customer segmentation and revenue source.
Electronic Commerce: Every form of business transaction in which the participants use electronic communication techniques for initiation, agreement or the provision of services.
Mobile commerce: Every form of business transaction in which the participants use mobile electronic communication techniques in connection with portable devices for initiation, agreement or the provision of services.