Almost 70% of Americans who own an iPhone have a high income

Counting bills

The iPhone is, of course, the most expensive smartphone you can buy, especially the newest generation. According to the research, the iPhone is the most common status symbol of wealth...

In the 2016 study, researchers were able to guess if a person belonged to a household with an income within the top quarter of the population, be it a single adult or two parents and dependents, simply by the subject's disclosure that they own a non-specific iPhone about 69 percent of the time. According to a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, there's no better indicator of wealth than walking around with one of Apple's handsets.

"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. This paper incorporates data from Mediamark Research Intelligence, which had a sample size of 6,394.

The study included the top predictors for other years. In 2004, the second batch of data showed Land O' Lakes Regular butter was the clearest indication you were earning good money.

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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. Owning an Android phone in the US or using Verizon are also signs that you're in the high-income bracket.

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

In the United States, if you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, it's a strong sign that you make a lot of money. In 2004, these were owning a stereo in a vehicle, owning a personal computer, and ordering an item on the internet. While in 1992, you were seemed to have made it if you owned a dishwasher, answering machine and even enjoyed eating Dijon mustard!

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