Wealthier smartphone users are less likely to play games or tweet and will opt for news, travel or finance apps, according to a new study.
The research by The Luxury Institute focused on app usage among wealthy consumers, whom they define as earning an annual income of US$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, ageing 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, chief executive officer of The Luxury Institute.
The findings are in contrast to smartphone usage as a whole, which research firm Nielsen showed is dominated by the games and social networking categories.
The wealthy use Facebook and Angry Birds, the two most downloaded apps of last year, but overall, higher-income consumers use apps for entertainment far less than the average smartphone user, Pedraza said.
While wealthy consumers are only slightly more likely to have a smartphone than the general population, Nielsen said the breakdown of devices owned differs considerably.
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. 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,” he said.
He added that the iPhone has always done quite well with high-income consumers.