EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Introduction to EE204 and Introductory Case:
Mobile and the Car


  1. Note to the Student: How to Study and Discuss Cases (HBS course materials)
  2. Review EE204 website
    1. Classroom discussion guidelines
    2. Grading
    3. Written analysis guidelines
  3. Mobile and the Car (will also be handed out in class)


In our first class we will

1) Ask students about their objectives for EE204

2) Describe tthe subjects that will be covered and the case discussion method

3) Review instructor responsibilities for conducting the class and soliciting participation in the discussion

4) Summarize student responsiiesities for class preparation and participation

5) Outline techniques for each student to optimize his or her own learning experience and achieve their objectives.

6) Clarify the methods for student performance measurement and grading


In the remaining time, an introductory case (Mobile and the Car) will be handed out in class and discussed in order to illustrate the case method of instruction.

Case Summary

Automobile makers are feeling the pressure to keep up with the rise of “smart” technology. A new generation of consumers wants their cars to be as connected and intelligent as the phones in their pockets. Google and Apple have both entered this space, both seeing the opportunity to further expand their mobile technologies. Google wants car makers to use Android as the operating system for the embedded computers they are installing in their cars. Apple wants car makers to adopt the iPhone as a control hub for dashboard electronics. It remains to be seen which approach will gain the upper hand as “smarter” cars enter the market.

Discussion Questions

  1. Who is the customer for Apple and who is the customer for Google in the smart car market?
  2. What do these customers want?
  3. What strategies are Apple and Google using to compete for these customers?
  4. Which do you believe will dominate the market and why?
  5. What actions do you recommend to the CEOs of Apple and Google to win the smart car market?