Unbundling is a neologism to describe how the ubiquity of mobile devices, Internet connectivity, consumer web technologies, social media and information access in the 21st century is affecting older institutions (education, broadcasting, newspapers, games, shopping, etc.) by "break[ing] up the packages they once offered (possibly even for free), providing particular parts of them at a scale and cost unmatchable by the old order." Unbundling has been called "the great disruptor".
"Unbundling" most basically means simply the "process of breaking apart something into smaller parts." In the context of mergers and acquisitions, unbundling refers to the "process of taking over a large company with several different lines of business, and then, while retaining the core business, selling off the subsidiaries to help fund the takeover."
- Massive open online courses are "part of a trend towards the unbundling of higher education" by providing access to recorded lectures, online tests, and digital documents as a complement to traditional classroom instruction.
- Software unbundling 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's not for free.
- One of IBM's COBOL Compilers was "PP 5688-197 IBM COBOL for MVS and VM 1.2.0" which one IBMer described as Quote PP := "Program Product" aka "you pay for it" EndQuote. 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), but that didn't alter the status of products released prior to that date.":this and other tidbits is from a Looking-Back blog article
- Pandora Radio
- The addition of Maryland and Rutgers to NCAA football was described as part of a larger trend towards the unbundling of each university's broadcast rights to maintain profitability.
- The CEO of Mashable predicted that unbundled news contents' "microcontent sharing" via software like Flipboard (Android and iOS), Zite and Spun (iPhone) would be a major trend in 2013.
- 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 
- The customers that live in large apartment complexes and multiple dwelling units can be unbundled in a way that allows multiple providers to reach each of the different units.
- Watters, Audrey (September 5, 2012). "Unbundling and Unmooring: Technology and the Higher Ed Tsunami". educause.edu. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
- https://groups.google.com/d/topic/alt.folklore.computers/RZA6FD27Tc0 a discussion group: OS/360: Forty years
- Chatfield, Tom (23 November 2012). "Can schools survive in the age of the web?". bbc.com.
- Pakman, David (April 15, 2011). "The Unbundling of Media". Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
- "Unbundling". businessdictionary.com. Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
- "Unbundling". investopedia. Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
- "Not what it used to be: American universities represent declining value for money to their students". economist.com. Dec 1, 2012.
- otherwise known as Unbundling
- Tunguz, Tom. "The cognitive burden of unbundling". Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
- "The great unbundling". informationarbitrage.com. November 24, 2012. Retrieved 19 Dec 2012.
- 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.
- Cashmore, Pete (December 11, 2012). "Big Idea 2013: Unbundling Media". linkedin.com.
- Kapko, Matt (August 26, 2014). "An Inside Look at LinkedIn's 'Unbundling' Mobile Strategy". CIO Magazine.
- 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 .
- Alan Jacobs, The Great Unbundling of the University theatlantic.com January 23, 2012
- Benjamin Lima, Massive online learning and the unbundling of undergraduate education July 17, 2012
- McKinsey & Company Unbundling the corporation June 2000
- Justin Reich, Will Technology Lead to the Unbundling of Schools? Education Week, May 17, 2012