Tough Economic Times Leading to iPhone Adoption, Study Finds

By November 03, 2008

It looks like Apple’s attempt to market the iPhone 3G to a more economically diverse market has succeeded. Comscore recently reported that the largest growth in iPhone users is those earning less than the median household income. Comscore believes that this change reflects more people turning to the iPhone as a multimedia and Internet device in difficult economic times. “As an additional household budget item, a $200 device plus at least $70 per month for phone service seems a bit extravagant for those with lower disposable income,” said Jen Wu, senior analyst, comScore, the report’s author. “However, one actually realizes cost savings when the device is used in lieu of multiple digital devices and services, transforming the iPhone from a luxury item to a practical communication and entertainment tool.”

In a survey of Usage between June and August (3G was released in July), there was 48 percent growth in iPhone users whose household income was $25,000 to $49,999, and a growth of 46 percent the $50,000 to $74,999 income bracket. The iPhone saw only 19 percent growth in those whose income was over $75,000.

Overall, iPhone penetration rose by 21 percent.

In the $25,000-50,000 demographic in this time period, iPhone usage grew by 48 percent, while smartphones in general grew by only 15 percent. In total, iPhone growth trended more evenly with the smartphone market as a whole: 21 percent overall growth for iPhone, compared to 12 percent for all smartphones.

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