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Apple is the top smartphone and tablet brand among wealthy

July 25, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • A woman uses an iPad to photograph a painting at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia. Apple products are favored by the wealthy, according to a research company.
A woman uses an iPad to photograph a painting at the Queensland Art Gallery… (John Pryke / EPA )

Apple does not have the highest market share when it comes to smartphones -- unless you just look at wealthier people.

According to a new report, when it comes to users whose net worth is more than $100,000, the Cupertino, Calif., company's iPhone and iPad remain the phone and tablet of choice, respectively. And for the most part, Apple's market share only increases the higher up the asset scale you look, according to the report from Spectrem Group, a research firm that specializes in the affluent and retirement markets.

Among what it categorizes as "mass affluent investors," defined as those whose net worth exceeds $100,000 excluding their primary residence, 46% own an iPhone. Android, on the other hand, comes in at 34%. The market share for Apple is higher among tablets, where the iPad is owned by 53% of the group, as opposed to the Kindle Fire, owned by just 16%.

Raise the bar to $1 million and the iPhone's share goes up to 48% of the market while Android's falls a percentage point. The increase is much more dramatic with the iPad, which has 61%. The Kindle Fire drops a point as well.

And among those whose net worth is at least $5 million, the iPhone jumps to 59% market share while Android drops to 25%. However, the same does not hold true for the iPad. At this level, its share falls to 57%, but the Kindle Fire doesn't gain ground. Rather, its share falls by more than half to 7%, tied with the Nook with Internet.

Spectrem Group collected the information in a survey called Use of Mobile Technology, Tablets, Online Tools and Social Media Vol. II.

Catherine McBreen, Spectrem Group's managing director, said wealthy investors may lean toward Apple's products so strongly because of two main reasons: their age and their wealth.

With most people in these groups being from an older generation, McBreen said they aren't looking to jump around from gadget to gadget. They just want something they're happy and comfortable with.

"Once they have a product they like and are comfortable with, they're unlikely to switch out,” she said. “They tend to be older, so they're not looking for the newest feature.”

And the reason they're so comfortable with Apple is because, for the most part, it got its products out before its competitors.

The iPhone wasn't the first smartphone, but it was the first true touchscreen smartphone, as well as the first to have an app store. Android came after, and that's why it's behind.

As for tablets, two years after the release of the iPad, no true competitor has emerged for Apple's tablet -- although the Nexus 7 may finally be the one. As a result, the iPad has a firm grip on the group.

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