Owning an Apple iPhone or iPad is an indicator of wealth in the U.S. say economists
There are plenty of ways you can show the public that you're extremely wealthy. You could tool around town in an expensive car, wear some fancy duds, live in a giant mansion, or carry an Apple iPhone. An iPhone? According to a report written by the University of Chicago and the National Bureau of Economic Research, in the U.S. owning an iPhone is an indicator that you are in a higher tax bracket than others.
While the actual report isn't what you would call a page turner, it does say that based on 2016 data, no other brand is as "predictive" of having a high income as the Apple iPhone is. Economists found that nearly seven out of ten times, a person with an iPhone has a higher income than others. In other words, in the U.S., owning an iPhone will place you in the top quartile of income for various household groups. Since the data is from 2016, it doesn't take into account the $999 Apple iPhone X that was released in November 2017.
Other findings using the 2016 data show that besides iPhone owners, those with an Apple iPad (66.9%), or an Android phone (59.5%) are more likely to have a "high-income." An economist who knows that a person uses Verizon as his wireless provider, can say that person has a high income and be right 61% of the time.
To show you how mobile technology has affected Americans, back in 2004, the top brand that was predictive of high income was Land O'Lakes butter, followed by Kikkoman soy sauce. In 1992, the top brand that revealed wealth among its users was Grey Poupon mustard, followed by Kodak film. Check out the lists below.
Owning these brands has been a good indicator of high income over the years