Skip to main content

What is the Best Way To Get Apple Carplay in Your Porsche 911? - The Factory vs. Aftermarket Debate

Craving Apple CarPlay in your classic Porsche 911? Explore factory and aftermarket options, weigh the pros and cons, and make an informed decision to upgrade your driving experience.

The modern Porsche 911 is an impressive combination of classic driving excitement and advanced technology, and the 911 range has been famed for many years. However, older 911 models may not have the convenience of Apple CarPlay, a feature that has been standard in new Porsches since 2017. For owners of classic or pre-2017 911s, integrating their digital life into their driving experience is a common desire. This has sparked many discussions on Porsche forums like Rennlist, where owners debate the benefits of aftermarket versus Porsche-made head unit upgrades.

As one Rennlist user put it, "I love my 997, but the lack of CarPlay is a real pain. I'm constantly fumbling with my phone for directions and music. But I'm also hesitant to mess with the original radio. It's a classic!"

This sentiment echoes throughout the Porsche community. Owners want CarPlay's convenience but also value the originality and aesthetics of their classic 911s. So, what's the solution?

Porsche 911 Upgraded Head Unit - Buyers Guide & FAQsBalancing Originality and Modernity

The good news is that there are options available for both camps. Based on extensive customer feedback, Porsche has recognized the demand for CarPlay in older models and offers factory-made head unit upgrades for various generations of the 911. These units seamlessly integrate with the car's existing systems, ensuring a cohesive and user-friendly experience. They're not cheap, but they offer peace of mind in terms of compatibility and support.

However, the aftermarket world has also released some much cheaper and as a result more appealing options, with companies like UNAVI and Mozart Electronics offering CarPlay retrofit solutions for older Porsches. These systems are often more affordable than Porsche's official upgrades, but they will not be able to offer the same level of integration or support.

The Porsche Classic Communication Management Plus (PCCM Plus): OEM Excellence

For owners of 997-generation 911s (2005-2008), Porsche offers the PCCM Plus system as a retrofit option. This unit replaces the original head unit and integrates seamlessly into the car's dashboard. It boasts a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity.


  • Factory Fit and Finish: The PCCM Plus looks and feels like it belongs in the car.
  • Seamless Integration: It works with the car's existing features like steering wheel controls and the Bose sound system.
  • Porsche Warranty: The unit is covered by Porsche's warranty, offering peace of mind.


  • Price: At around $1,500, it's not cheap.
  • Limited Functionality: It doesn't offer all the bells and whistles of some aftermarket units.

Porsche 911 Upgraded Head Unit - Buyers Guide & FAQsAftermarket CarPlay Solutions: More Bang for Your Buck?

Companies like UNAVI and Mozart Electronics offer a variety of aftermarket CarPlay solutions for various generations of the 911. These systems typically involve replacing the entire head unit or upgrading the existing one with a new motherboard.


  • Affordability: Aftermarket units are often significantly cheaper than the PCCM Plus.
  • More Features: Many aftermarket units offer a wider range of features, including larger screens, wireless CarPlay, and customizability.


  • Integration Challenges: Some aftermarket units might not integrate perfectly with the car's existing systems.
  • Questionable Quality: Not all aftermarket brands are created equal, and some units might not be as reliable or well-built as Porsche's offering.
  • Warranty Concerns: Aftermarket units might void your car's warranty or require professional installation.

The Verdict: Original or Aftermarket?

So, which route should you take? It ultimately depends on your priorities and budget. If you're a purist who values originality and wants a seamless integration with your classic 911, the Porsche PCCM Plus is the way to go and that's what most experts would suggest you do, even if it means saving a pretty penny to buy one. But if you're on a budget and still crave the latest features and customization options, an aftermarket solution might be a better fit.

If you're a Porsche 911 owner yearning for the convenience and functionality of Apple CarPlay, you're not alone. Enthusiasts across various online forums are actively seeking solutions to integrate this modern technology into their beloved classics.

Porsche 911 Upgraded Head Unit - Buyers Guide & FAQs

Let's break down the available options for different generations of the Porsche 911:

997 Generation (2005-2008): Porsche's Official Upgrade

For those with a 997, Porsche offers the Classic Communication Management Plus (PCCM Plus) system as a direct replacement for the factory head unit. This sleek, 7-inch touchscreen unit seamlessly integrates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and Bluetooth, while maintaining the car's original aesthetics. It's the priciest option, retailing for $1,475.99, but it's the most straightforward and reliable way to get CarPlay in your 997.

991.1 and 991.2 Generations (2012-2019): Aftermarket Alternatives

For 991 owners, the aftermarket scene offers a plethora of CarPlay solutions. Brands like UNAVI and Mozart Electronics provide plug-and-play upgrades that replace the factory PCM unit with a more modern touchscreen interface. These systems typically offer larger screens, wireless CarPlay, and a wider range of features compared to the PCCM Plus. Prices vary depending on the brand and features, but they're generally more affordable than the OEM option.

However, be prepared for some potential drawbacks. Aftermarket units might not integrate as seamlessly with the car's existing systems, and there's always the risk of compatibility issues or malfunctions. Some owners have also reported issues with audio quality and radio reception when using aftermarket units.

Pre-2012 Models (996 and Earlier): Limited Options

For older 911s, the options are more limited. While some aftermarket companies might offer CarPlay solutions for these models, they often require more extensive modifications and might not be as reliable or well-integrated as newer systems. It's crucial to research thoroughly and choose a reputable brand with a proven track record.

Porsche 911 Upgraded Head Unit - Buyers Guide & FAQsThe Verdict: Porsche OEM or Aftermarket?

The decision ultimately boils down to your priorities. If budget is a concern and you're tech-savvy, an aftermarket solution might be appealing. But if you value seamless integration, factory support, and peace of mind, the Porsche PCCM Plus is the way to go.

Remember, regardless of your choice, upgrading your 911 with CarPlay can enhance your driving experience by bringing modern conveniences to your classic Porsche. It's a decision worth considering for any enthusiast who wants to stay connected on the road while preserving the timeless appeal of their 911.
Image Source: Porsche Official

Author Bio

Bhavik Sreenath is an automotive expert, writer, and founder of Motolog Studio. With a Master's in Automotive Journalism and experience in publications like Bodyshop Magazine, he delivers compelling stories about the cars we love. From designing magazine layouts to reporting on eco-conscious practices, he brings a multifaceted perspective to automotive writing. His experience in Automotive Journalism makes him a vocal voice for car enthusiasts and industry insiders. Follow Bhavik on XLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook, to stay in touch and up-to-date with the latest EV and battery development news.