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Published by:
INSEAD (2003)
26 pages
Data source:
Field research


As of November 2001, NTT DoCoMo is the only company that has been able to make money out of the mobile Internet. This case study describes how, in a very competitive industry engaged in a technology race and strong price erosion, NTT DoCoMo has been able to achieve superior performance with its novel i-mode services. Launched in February 1999, its i-mode service was an immediate and explosive success. DoCoMo came to exceed its parent company in terms of market capitalisation as well as potential for profitable growth as we enter the age of mobile Internet. This case offers a value innovation perspective to analyse the success of i-mode with a particular emphasis on the business model used to exploit the i-mode innovation of DoCoMo. The case is designed to serve a variety of purposes in the 'value innovation and winning business ideas' teaching module of an MBA strategy course or executive education programme. The instructor can use the case to cover the following topics: (1) the value innovation logic; (2) the value curve and six paths framework; (3) the buyer utility map; and (4) the price corridor of the mass and the business model guide. Alternatively, the instructor can use it to specially cover the last three topics.


Telecommunications industry; Value innovation; Strategy; Blue Ocean Strategy; Winning business ideas; Creating new market space; Redefining industry boundaries; Mobile Internet; Information technology

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