Google and Android in 2015 (C): Looking Towards the Future

By Robert Siegel, Robert Burgelman, Michael Seltzer
2015 | Case No. SM176C | Length 27 pgs.

By 2015 Google’s Android operating system had been deployed on over one billion units worldwide. The firm had been happy with the high market segment share achieved on mobile phones, but new challenges were arising: advances by traditional competitors such as Apple and Facebook, potential fragmentation of the Android OS, new market dynamics in China and India, and the complexity of managing a large organization which sometimes had diverging goals in different product groups. This case explores how Google confronted the strategic opportunities facing the company around Android, including maintaining strong performance while being nimble enough to expand into new markets.

Also see SM176: Google’s Android: Will It Shake Up The Wireless Industry in 2009 And Beyond, SM176B: Google’s Android in 2013 An Increasingly Dynamic Landscape.

Learning Objective

The goal of this case is to force students to think through how a company of extreme size and scale can move quickly in a growing and quickly-changing market, and how leadership in a company needs to balance simultaneously protecting its core business while exploring new areas for growth.

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