Informal Mobile Economies

Authored by: Ramon Lobato , Julian Thomas

The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415809474
eBook ISBN: 9780203434833
Adobe ISBN: 9781135949181


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The iPhone—the flagship product of the world’s largest media company—is at the core of the global electronics hardware and content distribution industries. With its minimalist design, Apple’s iconic device has been a benchmark for innovation since the first version came onto the market in 2007. The iPhone is famous for other reasons: its success is attributed to its place within a proprietary media “ecosystem” controlled and managed by Apple. This stretches from the music and movies people purchase through iTunes to the closely regulated App Store, where third party software is licensed, taxed, and retailed. The result is a famously easy-to-use end-to-end model for digital consumption. What was once a fragmented array of diverse sources and services has become a unified and contained model, bounded by Apple’s strict licensing, app approval, and digital rights management policies.

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