Wealthy smartphone users less likely to play games, tweet

Mon Apr 2, 2012 10:26am EDT
 
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By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) - 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, 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 contrast to smartphone usage as a whole, which research firm Nielsen showed is dominated by games and social networking categories.

The wealthy use Facebook and Angry Birds, the two most downloaded apps of 2011, but overall, higher-income consumers use apps for entertainment far less than the average smartphone user, according to Pedraza.

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 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."   Continued...