All-in-One Devices Going Mainstream, Angering Elitists

Recently, Valleywag posited that the “iPhone’s image is being tarnished by poor people.” Snarkiness aside, they are basing this on some interesting facts: “The strongest growth in users is coming from those earning less than the median household income, particularly since the launch of the iPhone 3G.” So says a report from ComScore, which concludes […]

Recently, Valleywag posited that the “iPhone’s image is being tarnished by poor people.” Snarkiness aside, they are basing this on some interesting facts:

“The strongest growth in users is coming from those earning less than the median household income, particularly since the launch of the iPhone 3G.” So says a report from ComScore, which concludes that “lower-income mobile subscribers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access the Internet, email and their music collections.”

From Gizmodo:

According to the surveys, iPhone purchases grew the fastest among consumers with an annual household income range of $25,000 to $50,000 (which is about what elitists such as myself spend at the App Store every month). This represents a growth rate of 48%, compared to 16% among people with incomes of $100,000 or more. Unsurprisingly, the rapid iPhone growth coincided with the day Apple slashed the price by 50%, and introduced the App Store.

That said, the iPhone crowd is still dominated by affluent males between the ages of 18 and 35. Nevertheless, the shift suggests smartphones are becoming a mainstream product, said ComScore Mobile analyst Jen Wu.

As we just mentioned, smartphones are replacing laptops around the world as we move towards the “all-in-one” device. You see this everywhere from developing nations to housing developments. It makes total sense, for as expensive as an iPhone is, it’s significantly cheaper than a MacBook. Many people just need the basics: web-browsing and email. Portable music? Your iPhone has you covered. And since everyone needs a cell phone to stay in touch anyway, why not combine them into one affordable package?

The question is: will this ruin the caché of the iPhone? Perhaps Apple would be smart to create high-end versions to cater to luxury consumers. The iPhone Air? iPhone Nano? After all, high-rollers need a way to set themselves apart from the hoi polloi. What about versions from Prada, Gucci and Tiffany? Maybe then it could finally catch on in Japan.

[via Valleywag and Gizmodo]

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