SwiftKey represents a product business model in the technology industry that replaces the touch keyboard of iOS and Android devices such as smartphones and tablets. It uses a blend of artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next word the user intends to type. In addition SwiftKey learns from previous user input into SMS messages, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo!, Google+ and Facebook to increase the accuracy of its predictions. Furthermore SwiftKey also enables users to customise the look of their keyboard though themes. Swiftkey builds upon cloud based synchronization and the global uptake of keyless smartphones as well as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play.
The company behind SwiftKey (Touchtype Ltd.) was founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds and Dr Ben Medlock in London. It now has over 160 staff, its head office in Southwark, London, and has other offices in San Francisco, US and Seoul, South Korea. Major recent events include:
July 2010, Paid version of SwiftKey Beta released on Android Market.
September 2013, B finance round ($17.5m) led by Index Ventures with Octopus Investments and Accel Partners.
January 2014, iOS SwiftKey Note released, incorporates predictive typing technology as a custom toolbar attached to the top of the regular iOS keyboard.
June 2014, SwiftKey 5 update released, now a Freemium app.
September 2014, SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch launched. It reached No 1 in the free US App Store charts and the company confirmed it had been downloaded more than 1 million times on the first day of launch.
CUSTOMERS – WHO THEY ARE:
SwiftKey is for people that want to speed up and increase accuracy of typing when using their touch devices and for those that want to change the look of their keyboard. The app is widely available – in Western countries and emerging markets – and all that is needed to purchase it is a compatible phone and an account with either Google or Apple in order to access these companies’ app stores.
ENGAGEMENT – VALUE CREATION PROPOSITION:
The principal value proposition to the user is an improved keyboard experience that is able to synchronize prediction across all devices the app is installed on and increase the speed with which customers can type.
DELIVERY – THE VALUE CHAIN:
Users download and install Swiftkey onto their device from an app store, and set up an account (username and password). They can log in with their credentials and download it to another device for free. The app learns the user’s typing style and begins to predict and correct the next words or characters in a typed field. This saves the user time both by reducing error correction and automatically suggesting the next word.
MONETIZATION – VALUE CAPTURE:
SwiftKey is free to download and use, while in app purchases enable users to customise the look of their keyboard. Swiftkey is available through Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
Written by Matthew Robinson and edited by James Knuckles under the direction of Prof Charles Baden-Fuller, Cass Business School. This case is designed to illustrate a business model category. It leverages public sources and is written to further management understanding, and it is not meant to suggest individuals made either correct or incorrect decisions. © 2016
Published 23 April 2016