A paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that owning an iPhone is a sign of wealth. The iPhone study was done by economists Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica from the University of Chicago (via Business Insider).
Across all years in our data, no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016.
The duo found that owning an iPhone or iPad gave them a 69% chance to infer that the owner was “high income.” This term is defined by being in the top quartile of income for households of that type, such as single adult or a couple with dependents. The researchers used a sample size of 6,394, using data from Mediamark Research Intelligence, collected from bi-annual questionnaires and interviews in person.
iPhones are premium products with hefty price tags. The iPhone X for example starts at US$999. The idea that “iPhones are for rich people, Androids are for poor people” isn’t a new one, but now there is some research to inform this (hitherto) cliche.
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