It’s often said that if you want to make an estimate about a person’s financial well-being, you should probably check out the phone he/she’s using. If it’s an iPhone or an expensive Android phone, it becomes easy to infer that the concerned person falls into the ‘high income’ group. However, this methodology has been considered baseless, owing to ignorance of various other situations. Now though, there’s a research to back up this methodology.
According to the findings of a new research paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, owning an Apple iPhone is a status symbol. In their research, Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica found that no individual brand suggests belonging to ‘high-income’ group as owning Apple’s iPhone smartphone. “Across all years in our data, no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016,” the paper reads.
The findings help the researchers devise that owning an iPhone help them predict an individual’s belonging to the ‘high-income’ group with a probability of 69.1 per cent. The figure drops down to 66.9 per cent for using an Apple iPad as a reference tool.
What if you fall in the high-income group, but own an expensive Android phone instead. Fret not, researchers will still be able to figure out your financial status. The study states that the predictability of a person belonging to a high-income group with an Android smartphone stands at 59.5 per cent. The figure for Android is lower, considering the fact that Android phones are spread throughout several lower price brackets, unlike iPhones that pertain themselves to premium categories.
However, do note that the sample size of the research was limited to 6,394 people, which is not an accurate representation of the world’s population. The research also doesn’t account for the varying social as well as cultural elements across various countries.
Still, it’s a research and has logic to back up the judgement process. Therefore, next time, if someone snubs you for judging someone’s financial abilities through his/her smartphone, you can validate your judgement with the findings of this research.