According to a recently released study, wealthier smartphone owners are less likely to play games or tweet. They opt for news, travel and finance apps. Their phone of choice? The iPhone.
The research by The Luxury Institute focused on app usage among wealthy consumers, who earn an annual income of $150,000 or more. They tend to be older, with a mean age of 52.
“As you get older and have family and significant others, aging parents, and a lot more assets and investments, you’re going to need apps for far more relevant things than playing games and chatting with your peers,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute.
The findings are in direct contrast to smartphone usage as a whole. Research firm Nielsen shows that it is dominated by games and social networking.
The wealthy do use Facebook and play Angry Birds, which are the two most downloaded apps of 2011, but overall, wealthier consumers use their phone for entertainment far less than the average user.
The breakdown of device brands among wealthier consumers differs considerably from the market as a whole.
Forty-five percent of wealthy smartphone users own an iPhone, followed by 35 percent with an Android device, and a quarter who had a Blackberry. But Nielsen found that overall Android had 46 percent of market share, followed by the iPhone with 30 percent and Blackberry with 15 percent.
“Google’s strategy with Android is that they have multiple manufacturing partners,” explained Jonathan Carson, the CEO of digital at Nielsen. “There’s a broader choice with Android in the number of devices, and that may offer some opportunities for lower-end consumers.”
Also in the study, more than 80 percent of affluent consumers have downloaded apps and many have downloaded paid apps and performed in-app upgrades. On average though, wealthier consumers only download about half as many apps as the average consumer.
The marketing firm Plastic Mobile polled 603 consumers whose mean income was $295,000 and net worth was $2.8 million for The Luxury Institute study.