Technological competition: a path towards commoditization or differentiation? Some evidence from the e-book readers’ comparison


  • Pierre-Jean Benghozi Ecole polytechnique
  • Elisa Salvador Ecole polytechnique



creative industries, book publishing industry, business models, e-book, repeated innovation


Technological rivalry is recognized as a key dimension of competition and innovation strategies in the digital era. It is particularly important in strategies focused on disruptive and repeated innovations, where each step contributes to shaping the design of the offer- ing, the structuring of the market and the value chain. These technological trajectories are built on the basis of tensions between two contradictory objectives: specialization aimed at creating proprietary systems and standardization aimed at supplying the overall market. In the former case, successive innovations support competition between exclusive and proprietary ecosystems. In the latter case, commoditized devices create opportunities for alternative actors to engage in innovation and value creation. The e-book reader market serves as a key example of the issues at stake in terms of technological rivalry among tech- nology suppliers, digital platforms, and publishers. 


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Empirical research