Friday, September 17, 2021
This paper examines firms’ choices to use mobile platforms — namely iOS and Android. Using Crunchbase data on startups seeking external funding, we find that 16 of 47 business categories are likely to use mobile platforms. 10 of these 16 exhibit no platform preferences, implying substitutability. Businesses that are unlikely to use mobile platforms view the platforms as differentiated. iOS was more popular than Android: 60 percent of businesses choosing to be on mobile platforms chose to be only on iOS. In contrast, only 8 percent chose to be on Android only. Our finding of platform substitutability holds when accounting for businesses belonging to multiple categories.