Prepared by AlphaBeta for Google
Smart devices have changed the way millions of South Korean users interact, do business, and stay connected to the world. More than US$111 billion (₩126 trillion), equivalent to over 27% of global smartphone sales, were made by South Korean Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in 2015. While hardware improvements have been significant, much of the success of smart devices can be traced to the advancements in software, which is ultimately the way users interact with their devices. Open source software, such as the Android operating system, has played a key role in this software development and created significant positive economic ‘spillovers’ in terms of enabling greater smart device adoption and innovation. However, quantifying the benefits of open source software can be difficult given that it is provided to manufacturers and software developers free of charge. To fully understand the economic impact of open source software, one needs to look further than just traditional economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This report aims to inform the discussion how to measure the contribution of open source software by estimating the economic impact the Android operating system has on South Korea’s economy.