Competing for Temporary Advantage in a Hypercompetitive Mobile App Market

In stock

Publication History

Received: July 27, 2017
Revised: April 22, 2018; April 22, 2019; March 15, 2020; November 13, 2020; July 25, 2021; February 27, 2022; October 12, 2022
Accepted:October 21, 2022
Published Online as Articles in Advance: August 22, 2023
Published Online in Issue: September 1, 2023

Downloadable File

Hypercompetitive mobile app stores are characterized by rapid innovation and intense competition. App firms must vie for temporary competitive advantage through competitive actions such as releasing product improvements. We study how competitive indicators influence a particular competitive action—app updates—in a mobile game app market. Our results reveal that app firms take action to improve or sustain their temporary competitive advantage, updating their apps when there are opportunities to capitalize on popularity (e.g., rank and rating volume are increasing) and when their apps’ advantages are threatened (e.g., customer ratings are decreasing). We also find that app updates are released in response to competitors’ actions—specifically, when competitors update their apps and new competitors enter ranking lists. Moreover, our findings show that app firms release app updates when an app’s customer rating volume is increasing or when an app firm’s portfolio of game apps is less diverse, relative to its competitors. We conduct additional analyses that show that older app firms are responsive to more competitive indicators than younger ones and major updates are primarily used to respond to serious threats to apps’ competitive positions. Overall, our results indicate that app updates are competitive actions used to improve or sustain temporary advantage when competitive indicators reveal opportunities to improve or threats to apps’ competitive positions.

Additional Details
Author Tabitha L. James, Zhilei Qiao, Wenqi Shen, G. Alan Wang, and Weiguo Fan
Year 2023
Volume 47
Issue 3
Keywords Mobile applications (apps), mobile app updating, apple app store, mobile game apps, competitive dynamics, competition, rivalry, temporary competitive advantage, hypercompetition
Page Numbers 1177-1212
Copyright © 2023 MISQ. All rights reserved.