Though 43% of US iPhone owners earn more than $100K per year, the strongest growth in users is coming from those with annual incomes between $25K and $75K, particularly since the launch of the iPhone 3G, according to new iPhone demographic and usage-behavior data from comScore.
The research report, “All about iPhone,” finds that overall iPhone penetration grew 21% since June 2008. In the same period, iPhone adoption rose 48% among those earning between $25K and $50K per year, and 46% among those earning between $25K and $75K. These growth rates are three times those of mobile consumers earning more than $100K.
While the number of consumers in the $25K-to-$50K income demographic declined marginally from June to August 2008, their ranks among smartphone owners and mobile content users grew, in most cases faster than the rate of the overall market.
The number of people earning between $25K and $50K accessing news and information via their mobile browser grew by five percent since June, while the market overall grew by three percent, comScore said. comScore also reported seven percent growth in mobile email usage and five percent growth in mobile music consumption among those earning between $25K and $50K.
These data show that lower-income mobile subscribers are turning to their mobile devices to access the internet, email and their music collections and that the iPhone is satisfying demand for a single communication and entertainment device, even as consumers cut back on electronics and gadget purchases in the struggling economy, comScore said.
“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.”