Dump iPhone for Android? Many Porsche owners are leading the way

Porsche's CEO makes some fascinating revelations about his customers and their phones. Among which appears to be a big threat to Apple.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

Not acceptable to many Porsche owners?

Apple, Inc.

The iPhone sometimes gets a bad rap.

For so long, it's been said to be the choice of the money-mad, the honey-tongued and those desperate for a little social cachet.

Some might think the existence of a billion iPhones around the world suggests iPhone ownership isn't entirely an elitist thing.

Yet still, the image sticks.

I was moved to a prostrate position, therefore, by some startling revelations last week, courtesy of Klaus Zellmer. 

He's the President and CEO of Porsche North America and, at the Automobility conference in Los Angeles, he offered some quite staggering details about phone ownership among his customers.

As 9to5Mac reported, Zellmer confirmed an enormous correlation between Porsche ownership and iPhone ownership: 91% of US Porsche owners are also iPhone owners.

The mere idea that almost as many Porsche owners as Apple employees are committed to the iPhone is one that will incite either sage, resentful nodding or ululations of joy from those who consider themselves arbiters of taste and style.

There'll be those, too, who consider this a sad indictment of humans' weakness in the face of marketing. They might mutter that it takes a weak psychological countenance to need both an iPhone and a Porsche.

I'll ask them to pause a little while I continue with another -- perhaps more startling -- revelation.

Zellmer conceded that his company has tended to focus on iOS compatibility, rather than Android.

He said: "We will offer Android solutions. Why aren't we doing that right now? Let's take a look at the United States. Ninety-one percent of our customers, Porsche customers have an Apple device. So, this is how you most efficiently invest your money. But if you take China for example, of our current customers in China, 80% of them have an Apple device, which is also staggering."

How odd to the think that the world's Porsche cockpits are such iPhone strongholds. But wait. Zellmer perceives an enormous change in China.

He revealed: "If you ask them [Chinese Porsche owners] what their next device is going to be, actually 40% of those say it's going to be an Android device. So there's a lot of movement in the market and obviously you have to do what customers do and that's why Android will be a solution going forward."

There's a lot of movement in the market? And there was I being told by so many US phone store salespeople that customers rarely switch from iPhone to Android or vice-versa.

An AT&T salesman actively discouraged me from even contemplating a switch from iPhone to Android.

What, then, is happening in China?

Could it be that almost half of China's Porsche owners will shortly dump their iPhones?

Could it be that this is something to do with the fractious trade war being waged between China and the US?

Could it be that many of these iPhone owners feared their answers were being monitored by the Chinese government, so they wanted to make sure they gave the politically correct response?

I feel sure that Apple CEO Tim Cook, a wily geopolitician, would be heartily mortified if such a great swathe of his Chinese Porsche-owning customers suddenly walked out on him.

A Porsche and an iPhone go together like cable news and shouting.

Please consider the reaction if a mass of Chinese Porsche owners organized a vast iPhone-burning event, tossed their Apple devices onto a ceremonial pyre and made the switch to Android.

Might it create a world movement? Might it at least signify a schism between the showy of China and the flashy of the US?

Where iPhone-owning Porsche owners go, so do all those who look up to them.

Surely a lot of people look up to them. Don't they?

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