iPhone Is The Most Common Symbol Of Wealth, Shows New Research
According to a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, Apple’s iPhone is the most common status symbol of wealth, with the research having been put together by University of Chicago economists Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica.
We analyze temporal trends in cultural distance between groups in the US defined by income, education, gender, race, and political ideology. We measure cultural distance between two groups as the ability to infer an individual’s group based on his or her (i) media consumption, (ii) consumer behavior, (iii) time use, or (iv) social attitudes.
According to the research conducted by the pair, there is no brand that is as predictive of a high income as Apple’s iPhone, or at least it was back in 2016. This means that the iPhone gives researchers over a 69% chance of being able to correctly confirm the owner as so-called “high income,” with that having been defined as “being in the top quartile of income for households of that type.”
It’s not just the iPhone either, with the same research also noting that the iPad can also have the same effect, although to a lesser extent – a 67% chance of researchers being able to correctly confirm wealth. When it comes to Android owners, the percentage drops further, down to almost 60%.
“Knowing whether someone owns an iPad in 2016 allows us to guess correctly whether the person is in the top or bottom income quartile 67 percent of the time,” they write. The research also suggests that owning an Android phone or using Verizon are a strong indicators of being high-income as well.
The paper’s data was based on a sample size of 6,394 people, according to the report.
Does any of this really mean anything? We’re not so sure that it really does in the grand scheme of things, but the full research can be checked out here.