Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Do you own an iPhone? New study says you're probably rich

Do you own an iPhone? New study says you're probably rich

"Across all years in our data, no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016", researchers Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica wrote.

That's according to a new study that examined the best indicators of proving someone's wealth.

The study - a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper that sought to determine whether USA cultural preferences have changed across various groups over time - found that there's a 69% chance to correctly predict that a household is "high-income" based on the ownership of the said device.

"High income" was defined as being in the top income quartile for a participant's particular lifestyle and household type, such as singles, families and couples without children.

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Other indicators of wealth included owning a Samsung TV set (58 percent), and having a vehicle with Bluetooth connectivity (70.2 percent).

However, the research also shows that owning a generic Android phone (60 percent) or using Verizon (61 percent), which was the priciest carrier for wireless service in 2016, also were reliable indicators of wealth, too.

The research also compares current rich-list indicators to the nineties, and times have certainly changed.

Bizarrely, those who use Kikkoman-brand soy sauce were also found to be wealthy, followed by HP printers and faxes, the AT&T phone network, Samsung TVs, Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent and Ziploc bags.

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It's no surprise that iPhones are now seen as a major indicator of wealth. Since the data is from two years ago, it doesn't even take into account last year's $999 iPhone X.

In the United States, if you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, it's a strong sign that you make a lot of money. By spreading payments over long periods (like two years), it's easier for people to bag expensive Apple gear without being hit by huge bills.

With Android phone ownership and other technology-related entries being on the list too, the bigger takeaway is that technology truly plays a bigger part in people's lives in the U.S. more than any other product category now. The recent Apple phone sells for just under $1,000.

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