University of Twente Student Theses


Value creation in activity tracker platform-ecosystems: an analysis of Fitbit and Apple Watch

Veenstra, Chelsea (2018) Value creation in activity tracker platform-ecosystems: an analysis of Fitbit and Apple Watch.

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Abstract:Activity trackers are rapidly gaining popularity and offer the potential for generating valuable health data and to enable citizens to participate in their own care. However, users are reportedly losing interest in the devices after a few months. These high abandonment rates indicate that users do not perceive the value that is created by the activity tracker as sufficient. This study aimed to find out how platform leaders’ strategy on openness impacts the creation of network effects and therefore value creation in the activity tracker ecosystem. To do so, case studies on the Apple Watch and Fitbit ecosystems were executed. Value in ecosystem is created by the complementors that surround and create additional products and services to the platform product. It was found that although the value networks of the two platform leader companies look largely the same, there are differences in strategy that impact the various network effects. Strategy on openness was analysed toward four distinct ecosystem roles; demand-side users, supply-side users, platform provider and platform sponsor. Where the differences in strategy were on the demand-side user and hardware supply-side user. It was found that the closedness of Fitbit towards hardware suppliers had negative impact on network effect. The second finding is that despite the closedness toward demand-side users of Apple, they still manage to create network effects to create value in their ecosystem.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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