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 that “lower-income mobile subscribers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access the Internet, email and their music collections.”
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.