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Owning an iPhone is the best indicator of wealth, claims research

10 July 2018

That's according to a new paper from University of Chicago economists Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica, reports Business Insider. An iPhone? According to a report written by the University of Chicago and the National Bureau of Economic Research, in the USA owning an iPhone is an indicator that you are in a higher tax bracket than others.

According to the paper, if someone owned an iPhone, there was a 69 percent chance they were "high-income", which was defined as "being in the top quartile of income for households of that type".

The iPhone X is one of the most expensive phones today, with a $999 launch price. It was followed by being a Verizon Wireless customer at 61% and owning an Android handset at 59.5%.

Aside from products, the economists, whose findings were earlier reported on by Business Insider, found that if traveling in the US, owning a passport, and having Bluetooth in your vehicle were also high on the list of high-income indicators. Twelve years earlier, Grey Poupon mustard was the most reliable sign of being rich. In 2004, Land O' Lakes butter and Kikkoman soy sauce were predictive of high-income households. While the iPhone, and Apple products in general, are known to be high-priced premium devices, the rise in rank may also be attributed to general rise of smartphone ownership among people since the original's launch in 2007. More than 6,000 people were surveyed to acquire the data.

In the United States, if you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, it's a strong sign that you make a lot of money.

Word to the wise, however: the monetary value of smartphones typically diminish quickly because phone makers, Apple included, have a rapid release cycle for new models.

It also noted how status symbols had changed in the past two decades or so. In 1992, it was owning an automatic dishwasher at 71.4 percent and using dishwater detergent at 70.2 percent.

Owning an iPhone is the best indicator of wealth, claims research