Do you own an iPhone or iPad? You’re rich!

Doris Richards
July 10, 2018

This is correct, two mobile computing devices have become an indicator as to how rich you really are, according to a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The research said, as reported by 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".

There are details and caveats to the research, but the economists found that owning an iPhone gave them a 69% chance to correctly infer that the owner was "high-income", which they defined as being in the top quartile of income for households of that type - like single adult or couple with dependents, for example.

The iPhone X is one of the most expensive phones today, with a $999 launch price.

A University of Chicago whitepaper finds that owning an iPhone is the most common sign of exhibiting wealth for people in the United States. For instance, in 1992, there was a 62.2% chance that if you were using Grey Poupon dijon mustard, you had some cash. In 2004, Land O' Lakes butter and Kikkoman soy sauce were predictive of high-income households.


Aside from products, the economists, whose findings were earlier reported on by Business Insider, found that if traveling in the USA, owning a passport, and having Bluetooth in your auto were also high on the list of high-income indicators.

For 2016, other significant indicators of wealth include subscribing to Verizon at 61 percent and owning a generic Android phone at 59.5 percent.

The smartphone, in the modern world, is as much a necessity now as condiments in the early 1990s were, the data suggests.

The paper also reveals iPhone owners are likely to give the impression of being educated.

In 2004, high-income indicators included owning a dishwasher, ordering any item via the internet, and having a personal computer. Having a heated seat in your auto or using dishwasher detergent were also good wealth indicators. In 2016, the top entries were owning a vehicle with Bluetooth; ordering an item on the internet, and ordering a plane ticket on the internet.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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