Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unbundling is the process of breaking up packages of products and services that were previously offered as a group, possibly even free.[1][2][3] Unbundling has been called "the great disruptor".[4]


"Unbundling" means the "process of breaking apart something into smaller parts".[5] In the context of mergers and acquisitions, unbundling refers to the "process by which a large company with several different lines of business retains one or more core businesses and sells off the remaining assets, product/service lines, divisions or subsidiaries."[6]


  • Massive open online courses are "part of a trend towards the unbundling of higher education"[7] by providing access to recorded lectures, online tests, and digital documents as a complement to traditional classroom instruction.[3] Online program management providers are also increasingly unbundling services in higher education, which some argue "reflects increasing sophistication—and capacity—of colleges and universities as they launch new online programs."[8]
  • Software unbundling[2] Some IBM Computer software "products" were distributed "free" (no charge for the software itself, a common practice early in the industry). The term "Program Product" was used by IBM to denote that it is a chargeable item.[2]
One of IBM's COBOL Compilers was "PP 5688-197 IBM COBOL for MVS and VM 1.2.0" which one IBMer described as

PP := "Program Product" aka "you pay for it"

. By contrast, the same source had: Neither the F or D versions of the COBOL compiler were ever "rented" ... (or) even copyrighted...
The majority of software packages written by IBM were available at no charge to IBM customers. (Even non-IBM customers could pay (only) for the reproduction costs and get them from IBM. All this changed, of course, with New World (June 1969),[9] but that didn't alter the status of products released prior to that date."[2]: this and other tidbits is from a Looking-Back blog article 
  • Pandora Radio
  • The addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference was described as part of a larger trend towards the unbundling of each university's broadcast rights to maintain profitability.[10]
  • The CEO of Mashable predicted that unbundled news contents' "microcontent sharing" via software like Flipboard[11] (Android and iOS), Zite and Spun (iPhone) would be a major trend in 2013.[12]
  • LinkedIn has embraced a multi-app strategy and now has a family of six separate apps—The LinkedIn 'Mothership' app and 'satellite' apps ranging from job search to tailored news [13]
  • The customers that live in large apartment complexes and multiple dwelling units can be unbundled in a way that allows multiple service providers to reach each of the different units.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Watters, Audrey (September 5, 2012). "Unbundling and Unmooring: Technology and the Higher Ed Tsunami". educause.edu. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d https://groups.google.com/d/topic/alt.folklore.computers/RZA6FD27Tc0 a discussion group: OS/360: Forty years
  3. ^ a b Chatfield, Tom (23 November 2012). "Can schools survive in the age of the web?". bbc.com.
  4. ^ Pakman, David (April 15, 2011). "The Unbundling of Media". Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
  5. ^ "Unbundling". businessdictionary.com. Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
  6. ^ "Unbundling". investopedia. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Not what it used to be: American universities represent declining value for money to their students". economist.com. Dec 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "Backward Innovation: The Great Unbundling of Higher Ed's Online Service Providers". edsurge.com. May 4, 2016. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  9. ^ otherwise known as Unbundling
  10. ^ "The great unbundling". informationarbitrage.com. November 24, 2012. Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
  11. ^ Richmond, Shane (August 4, 2010). "Flipboard: The Closest Thing I've Seen to the Future of Magazines". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  12. ^ Cashmore, Pete (December 11, 2012). "Big Idea 2013: Unbundling Media". linkedin.com.
  13. ^ Kapko, Matt (August 26, 2014). "An Inside Look at LinkedIn's 'Unbundling' Mobile Strategy". CIO Magazine.
  14. ^ Ryan, Patrick S; Zwart, Breanna; Whitt, Richard S; Goldburg, Marc; Cerf, Vinton G (2015-08-04). "The Problem of Exclusive Arrangements in Multiple Dwelling Units: Unlocking Broadband Growth in Indonesia and the Global South". The 7th Indonesia International Conference on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Small Business (IICIES 2015): 1–16. SSRN 2637654. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]