Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Tech | By

Own an iPhone? New study says you're probably rich.

Own an iPhone? New study says you're probably rich.

Owning an iPad can also be a good indicator of wealth according to the research, though to a slightly lesser extent at 66.9 percent.

The researchers say that knowing someone owns an iPhone gives them a 69 percent chance to infer correctly that the owner was "high-income".

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, highlighted by Business Insider, aims to infer demographics based on consumer behavior and media consumption. An iPhone? According to a report written by the University of Chicago and the National Bureau of Economic Research, in the US owning an iPhone is an indicator that you are in a higher tax bracket than others.

The findings show a distinct difference in wealth indicators over the years.


The study says 2016 because, while the paper was published in June 2018, it used data from 2016, specifically interviews and questionnaires from 6,394 respondents collected by research firm Mediamark Research Intelligence.

Owning an iPhone or iPad is the best indicator that a person is rich. Researchers had a 69.1 percent chance of correctly guessing whether people belonged to the high-income bracket if they own an iPhone. The researchers describe high-income as "being in the top quartile of income for households of that type".

"This take-away runs against the popular narrative of the United States becoming an increasingly divided society", the researchers write.

The iPhone X is one of the most expensive phones today, with a $999 launch price. There are many ways to make it seem more affordable, but you still end up paying what Apple is charging for the handset, whether you go for outright purchases or installment plans. Economists found that almost seven out of ten times, a person with an iPhone has a higher income than others. In 1992, some of the top brands that were associated with wealth in the U.S., in no particular order, were Grey Poupon Dijon mustard, Kodak cameras, Kikkoman soy sauce, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

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