Researchers: ‘No individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone’

Apple's 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max (right)
Apple’s 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and flagship 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max (right)

App Science Labs, the research division of Sabio, the media and technology company behind App Science, a proprietary machine learning platform that pairs observations of consumer behavior to corresponding data that inform marketing decisions, today announced the availability of research aimed to help better identify consumers with higher household incomes (HHI).

“Many of our clients, from financial institutions and luxury automotive manufacturers to theme park vacation marketers and high-end retailers, have products and services that require we reach higher HHI customers,” said Joe Camacho, CMO of Sabio, in a statement. “In an effort to continue improving the mobile solutions we provide our clients, it is extremely valuable to constantly find new ways to identify their target customers more effectively. We look forward to sharing the compelling findings from App Science Labs and how it can predict a person’s financial status based on their apps, location, and the type of phone they use.”

Inspired by a published economics paper from the University of Chicago with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the researchers found that “no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone” based on 2016 data. The iPhone is a luxury product that is usually priced higher than competing smartphones and is rising in cost with each new iteration. Generally, to afford these expensive phones, most purchasers should come from a higher income bracket. As a result, the iPhone has become the best indicator of wealth from among everyday items.

Source: Sabio

MacDailyNews Take: Demographics; Hee Haw and otherwise.

Hence, Android is the backwater platform that we long ago predicted it would be:

Android is pushed to users who are, in general:

a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar ($100 Gift Cards with Purchase) offers.

Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle building powders or grease monkey overalls.

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.

Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.MacDailyNews, November 26, 2012

“All men are created equal.”

Well, not when it comes to users of smartphones and tablets…

The bottom line: Those who settle for Android devices are not equal to iOS users. The fact is that iOS users are worth significantly more than Android settlers to developers, advertisers, third-party accessory makers (speakers, cases, chargers, cables, etc.), vehicle makers, musicians, TV show producers, movie producers, book authors, carriers, retailers, podcasters… The list goes on and on.

The quality of the customer matters. A lot.

Facile “analyses” that look only at market (unit) share, equating one Android settler to one iOS user, make a fatal error by incorrectly equating users of each platform one-to-one.

When it comes to mobile operating systems, all users are simply not equal.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, November 15, 2014

See also: What we mean by ‘Hee Haw demographic’

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. Make no mistake; App Science Labs is one of many domestic spy agencies operating without any safeguards, all based on the “opt out” principle.

  2. Maybe MDN missed the news but Google stock went up 10% on earnings and was heavily praised by analysts for being such a great company and investment. I’m fairly certain it was their ad business that did the trick. Let’s see how much Apple’s stock goes up on earnings. I doubt Apple will be praised for anything if iPhone sales are down again.

  3. Lest anyone be confused: The affluent tend to buy iPhones more because they’re affluent; they’re not affluent because they buy iPhones, lolz.

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