The Evolution of New Mobile Applications: A Sociotechnical Perspective

Jonathan P. Allen
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 8, Number 1, Fall 2003, pp. 23.

Abstract: Little is known about how viable new mobile applications emerge in complex commercial environments. Research in the sociology of technology suggests that the evolution of new applications is a process of social interaction between multiple constituencies, aiming to create a common definition of mobile technology problems and solutions that is obvious only in retrospect. This theory is illustrated by the early evolution of the personal digital assistant (PDA). According to this view, established technological communities attempt to impose their own definitions of key problems and solutions on new mobile technology, thereby forcing newer players to provide a “total system” that completely redefines a new application area.

Key Words and Phrases: Mobile applications, personal digital assistant, sociology of technology, technology evolution.