iPhone vs. Android: The Porsche and the Winnebago

We’ve heard a thousand such analogies, and they generally suck. Perhaps this one will suck slightly less.

Getting right to it, the iPhone experience is like a porsche. The Android experience is like a Winnebago.

The idea here is not that iPhone is “better” or “worse” than Android. Those words don’t mean anything unless you completely synchronize on subjective sets of values. The goal is to convince you that the platforms are different.


The iPhone is like a specialized sports car. Porsche, Aston Martin, whatever. It’s designed to do a few things well. Accelerate, turn, be attractive, etc. It focuses primarily on being aesthetically pleasing in terms of look and feel while doing those things.

Porsches lack many luxury features that you can find even in high-end Toyotas. But high-end Toyotas don’t turn heads like Porsches do, or have the resale value that Porsches do, or make men and women feel like Porsches do.


The current Android experience is like a mobile home. It’s not very pretty, tends to be bulky, but you can do almost anything with it. Satellite on the roof. Kitchen on-board. Bathroom. Sleeping quarters. Oh, and you can live in it. The primary focus of a mobile home is the list of amenities it provides.

So mobile homes have pretty much every feature you can ask for, and the ones you can’t get by default you can have added on. But when people see them on the road, man or woman, the thought is not one of sexiness–it’s one of functionality.


Many may point out that Android is just software, so it doesn’t have to be a Winnebago. It can be trim and sexy as well if it was designed so. And this is true. My argument is more about the current pitch from the overall Android experience.

The HTC Thunderbolt is a great example. If Android isn’t a Winnebago, the HTC Thunderbolt definitely is. It’s massive, unattractive, and highly functional. 4G, great benchmarks, etc.

The thing that strikes me is that if I were going to pick up a fashion model in downtown NYC, I’d never bring a mobile home. And if I wanted to go camping for three weeks in the Florida woods while keeping all of my comforts of home, I’d definitely not bring a Porsche.

It’s about what matters to you the most: Feel vs. function.

For me it’s feel, as long as there’s enough function there. For the Android crowd it seems that the answer is mostly function. It’s not quite that simple, but it’s close. ::

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