10 July 2018
A new report says that owners of iPhone (or an iPad) are considered to be rich. according to a working paper by two University of Chicago economists, owning an Apple iPhone or iPad is the most reliable way to appear wealthy.
The report states that, if a person owns an iPhone, he is correctly assumed to be wealthy 69 percent of the time. This is a new trend where people with the latest iPhones are correlated with being a high-income group. In the US, owning an Android phone or using a Verizon connection is also considered signs that you’re in the high-income bracket.
In previous years, some of the top products for predicting wealth were Land O' Lakes butter in 2004 or Grey Poupon mustard in 1992. However, none were considered as predictive as the iPhone is today.a
"Across all years in our data, no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016," found the paper, recently issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research. "Knowing whether someone owns an [iPhone] in 2016 allows us to guess correctly whether the person is in the top or bottom income quartile 69 percent of the time," the authors write.
The researchers have used data of 6394 users from Mediamark Research Intelligence. The data included bi-annual questionnaires as well as information like household income from face-to-face interviews with the participants. The researchers used a machine learning algorithm to see how different groups have different preferences. They stated that “cultural differences” aren’t getting larger over time when related to common brands and experiences. Their conclusion “runs against the popular narrative of the US becoming an increasingly divided society,” they said.