Probably ever since the first wheel was invented, people have rated their wealth by their possessions and how well they compare to others: in medieval times it was the number of wives you had, in the 1930s it was your radio, in the 60s it was colour TVs and now arguably it is your phone.
However, some interesting research suggests that in fact many of those who own fancy mobile phones are those that are further down the earning hierarchy than they may first appear and that there is one phone that suffers from financial deficiencies in its owners more than others: the iPhone.
Despite the logical inference that the high price tag would mean that only the wealthy could afford to buy an iPhone almost one in five iPhone owners in this survey admitted that their main account is always overdrawn, a statistic that is around double the national average of one-in-ten people.
However this is not systemic of smartphones in general as the survey revealed 50% of Blackberry and 54% of Android-operated phones are apparently ‘never overdrawn’; anyone who is into their statistics will tell you that those are two different types of statistics, but they do point to he same conclusion that your financial status (and presumably your spending habits) have an influence on what phone you own.
Salary also has a big influence with people who own a Blackberry generally earning more than those who own iPhones: 10% of those surveyed that owned a Blackberry earned in excess of £50,000, whilst the figure was half that for iPhone owners with Android owners sitting at around 7%.
At the other end of the pay scale just under a half of iPhone owners earned under £20,000 compared to a figure of 27% for Android users and 38% for those who used a Blackberry.
The conclusion drawn by the Daily Mail was that iPhone users are in fact relatively poor, but if one takes the time to do a little investigating into the earning statistics of the country as a whole then the conclusion is a little different: rather than being a phone for the wealthy, or for those that would like to think they were but are in fact poor, the iPhone appeals to a remarkably financially average audience.
For example, the two statistics above (that 5% of iPhone owners earn over £50,000 and around 50% earn under £20,000) correlate pretty much perfect with the earning statistics in 2006 – the latest that I could get my hands on – which won’t have changed all that much in the last 5 years.
When you add into the mix the fact that the Blackberry is the phone of choice for companies to give to their employees (mostly thanks to its emailing capabilities and the fact that it is considered as more of a corporate rather than ‘fun’ phone) then really the only conclusion that you can draw from all of this that is of any note is that the Android operating system is running on phones which are preferred by those that earn more.
Is that a surprise? Not really; many phones that run Android (such as the HTC Desire) tend to be equally expensive but do not carry with them the same kudos factor that an iPhone or Blackberry would and thus would not be desired so much by someone who couldn’t really afford it. So if there is any moral to this it is that maybe Google should perhaps consider pushing Android more like a social status symbol if they want to be more popular in the marketplace, although whether or not that is a good thing I’ll leave for you to decide!
Do you think that this research has real meaning? Do you buck the trend in the results of this survey? Or does this simply mean that Apple has created a very desirable product that fulfils the requirements of the whole cross-section of society?
Via – DailyMail