×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Low-Income Users Latch On To iPhone

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the for-sufficiently-high-values-of-low dept.

Cellphones 422

narramissic writes "The iPhone crowd is still dominated by affluent males between the ages of 18 and 35, but in a series of surveys ending in August, ComScore found that iPhone purchases grew fastest among people with annual household incomes between $25,000 and $50,000. The growth rate in this group was 48 percent, compared with just 16 percent among people with incomes above $100,000. And the down economy isn't going to turn this trend around, says ComScore Mobile analyst Jen Wu. 'I don't see there's going to be much of a slowdown, just because wireless devices are so much more of a necessity than they used to be,' Wu said." In other iPhone news, an anonymous reader points out a NYTimes story about the rise in car-related applications and uses for the iPhone, which points out that programmers are just beginning to "appreciate just what can be done with an iPhone and other advanced cellphones that know where they are and just how quickly they are going someplace else." Another iPhone story mentions that "Opera's engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini that can run on an Apple iPhone, but Apple won't let the company release it because it competes with Apple's own Safari browser."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

422 comments

penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594565)

whats up penis tickler?

INTERIOR CROCODILE THEATRE (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594581)

Could the free advertising it gets from rap music be a partial cause of this?

Re:INTERIOR CROCODILE THEATRE (3, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594839)

It's worked for bullshit vehicles like the Escalade, so I don't know why it wouldn't work for a bullshit smartphone.

Re:INTERIOR CROCODILE THEATRE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595223)

It's yet another toy for niggers and the skank bitches who miscegnate with 'em.

Antitrust? (3, Insightful)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594589)

"Opera's engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini that can run on an Apple iPhone, but Apple won't let the company release it because it competes with Apple's own Safari browser."

Antitrust lawsuit, anybody?

Re:Antitrust? (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594615)

Nobody ever suggested you could run anything on an iPhone, and that makes it no different that most of the other cellular phone devices out there. It comes down to the simplest of playground rules:

My ball, my game.

Not that the playground is the perfect metaphor for business, but it's better than most car analogies.

Re:Antitrust? (3, Informative)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594655)

At least on Nokia's S60 (Symbian) devices you can run what ever you like.

No, S60 is DRM'ed as well. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594829)

No you can't. All software that wants to do something "dangerous" on you S60-mobile, like setting the clock, or accessing contact data, MUST be digitally signed. That's great (really, I do like the platform security), but the only Certificate Authority for this is... Symbian. So in the end SYMBIAN decides what may and may not run on YOUR phone.

Yes, Symbian has "open signed", a cheezy web-interface where you can sign unsigned freeware, so it can be installed on YOUR phone, but alas, Symbian is in control here as well.

Don't let the claims of "openess" and "open source" fool you!

Re:Antitrust? (3, Insightful)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594747)

Nobody ever suggested you could run anything on an iPhone, and that makes it no different that most of the other cellular phone devices out there.

No, but the fact that Apple has both the capability and the will to control what they let their customers put on their phones doesn't mean that this isn't a very, very user-hostile move by Apple.

On every phone I've ever owned, I could run any compatible software I wanted.
Iphone is the only phone I've seen where the manufacturer say "Sorry. We will not allow you to run this software on your phone, even though it is compatible, useful and does no harm."

Re:Antitrust? (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594765)

Yes, and they appear to be rather arbitrary in what apps they decide to disallow. This would be less of a problem if Apple were less capricious about it.

Re:Antitrust? (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594923)

Really? On my Sprint phones the only software available was what Sprint approved. If they didn't like it (say it competed with their wannabe-MP3 service or TV service) they wouldn't approve it.

Cell phone applications having to be approved is quite routine. Smartphones may be different, but with most phones the companies like to lock them down to prevent people from messing with their revenue streams. This is no different.

Re:Antitrust? (3, Insightful)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595069)

I have never had any problems installing any apps I wanted on any of my Sprint phones, regardless of where I was getting them from. Sure, they're not in the Sprint App Store but hitting Google and then putting a URL into your cell browser isn't too tough.

Re:Antitrust? (0)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595071)

It depends on the point of view. As a systems builder that produces integrated products that function largely as intended, and a as firm that gets heavily sued when something in the system is not perfect, there is some wisdom to limited what is allowed on their flagship consumer device. After all, if opera were allowed, and then opera had an issue, Apple would be the one to get sued because they are the ones with cash, and they are the ones that allowed a faulty application on the phone. And don't even talk about the support nightmare.

In other venues it is different. For instance, on some smartphone MS makes the OS, a manufacturer integrates to a device, then a cell phone company sells and supports it. Who is responsible when their is a problem? Is there even a warranty on the device? In this situation of course no one cares what is put on the phone. Is Google or T-Mobile going to support you when your phone goes down? It is probable, however, that the cell co will cut you off is some application is not behaving on the network.

In any case there are many phones out there, and little reason to buy one that has a locked OS if that is not the phone one wants.

Re:Antitrust? (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594763)

Nobody ever suggested you could run anything on Windows, and that makes it no different than most of the other OSes out there. It comes down to the simplest of playground rules:

My ball, my game.

There's a reason we're reminded of the 90's and Microsoft vs Netscape. But hey, at least Microsoft didn't stop Netscape from happening, they just competed unfairly. Apple is doing both -- they're bundling Safari (just like Microsoft bundled IE), and they're actively working to prevent Opera from even being sold on that platform.

The only reason I like Macs is that they tend to work. Apple has been more closed and more anticompetitive than Microsoft ever was -- and I'm not just talking about the iPhone.

Re:Antitrust? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594837)

Opera is free. Apple are preventing a free and arguably better browser from appearing on their gadget. They bigger the market share apple pick up, particularly real people and not apple zealots, the more shit like this is going to come to ahead. Many people already regard apple as the new MS bastards.

Roll the dice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594885)

and you won't land on boardwalk and owe Apple all your money. Microsoft had the monopoly, Apple does not.

Re:Antitrust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594617)

Antitrust lawsuit, anybody?

Sure, you can sue anyone for anything...

But seriously, do you really think iPhone has that much of the market?

Re:Antitrust? (3, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594641)

"Opera's engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini that can run on an Apple iPhone, but Apple won't let the company release it because it competes with Apple's own Safari browser."

Antitrust lawsuit, anybody?

You can't have a successful antitrust suit against someone with a minuscule marketshare.

Re:Antitrust? (3, Insightful)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594685)

Aha, but market share of what? The browser market? The mobile browser market? The iPhone browser market?

Re:Antitrust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594791)

Aha, but market share of what? The browser market? The mobile browser market? The iPhone browser market?

The mobile phone market. Duh.

not minuscule, 20-30%. (2, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595085)

I thought the same thing (minuscule market share), until I saw that in Q4 2007, the iPhone had a 30% market share of smartphones.

It's since dropped [cnet.com] , but I have no idea what's happened since the 3G model came out. Point is...it's not remotely minuscule; they're second or third.

The other point: the market is pretty diversified between Palm, Windows Smartphones, Palm OS, Symbian, and others (like the Sidekick, running Hiptop OS.) If several companies colluded and blocked Opera, THAT would be an anti-trust action.

Re:Antitrust? (2, Interesting)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594741)

Say I have a Linksys router, one which won't allow openWRT/DD-WRT to run on it. Does this also warrant an antitrust lawsuit?

Re:Antitrust? (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594793)

Linksys never allowed or created any infrastructure to allow third party development for your router.

Apple on the other hand wants to reap the benefits of third party applications without actually competing with them.

It's as if you could only run IE on Windows or Safari on OS X.

Re:Antitrust? (4, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594849)

Usually, linksys routers such as yours are incapable of running a standard linux router distribution.

It's like saying, "It's antitrust that I can't run Safari on my VIC-20."

It's a technical limitation, not a political/strategic one... which is the case with Opera on the iPhone.

I'm glad I bought an Android phone. :)

not Antitrust (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594927)

Antitrust lawsuit, anybody?

Jesus, no. Please go read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:not Antitrust (5, Funny)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594951)

No, no, no. If I wanted to RTFA I wouldn't be posting on Slashdot. I'm here to make wildly speculative statements on issues on which I have no expertise.

Re:not Antitrust (1)

Carlosos (1342945) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594999)

Sounds to me like antitrust.
Wikipedia also links to "Competition law" which lists three main elements of antitrust.
The first one is "prohibiting agreements or practices that restrict free trading and competition between business entities".

Doesn't Apple prohibit free trade by not allowing the competitor to compete?

Source used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_law [wikipedia.org]

Opera (0, Flamebait)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594611)

Whilst I think it's a silly clause the Apple SDK license agreement for the iPhone has always prohibited developing a web browser for the iPhone so if the Opera team went ahead and wasted their time porting to the iPhone then it's their own stupid fault.

Re:Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594739)

Even if developing a browser for iPhone is prohibited, Opera may still have an incentive to make an iPhone port. Maybe they are just trying out some new ideas, or testing the portability of their codes, or whatever worthy of trying. Who knows?

Developing a product that can't be sold doesn't imply stupidity or fault. A successful iPhone port may help with the improvement on other platforms.

Re:Opera (4, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594771)

Well I thought the American Revolution was silly because the British didn't want another country.

Re:Opera (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594899)

Does that really apply?

That app would probably work on jailbroken phones, which is probably the closest analogy I can think of to that political revolution.

Apple does hold the keys to their app store, it seems silly to me to port a major app like that knowing full well what the contract is with respect to getting onto that app store.

Re:Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594803)

Except for the fact that what Apple doing is illegal. (come on, get that antitrust lawsuit going guys)

Re:Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594935)

They would have to own the smartphone market for it to be an anti-trust violation. While it is reprehensible behavior to prevent one free browser being replaced by another free browser they haven't broken any laws with this.

I think they SHOULD ALLOW other browsers. That said, they may be doing this to prevent support calls such as, "This web site says it is iPhone compatible, but it won't work so there is something wrong with my phone" when the problem may be the Safari browser.

I don't know, and YOU (not the OP but slashdot in general) don't know for sure either.

The high cost forced data plan + vioce plan is a.. (3, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594613)

The high cost forced data plan + voice plan is a trun off me. I want to get S60 based phone running Symbian OS with WIFI and just use WIFI I have ATT DSL so I can use there hotspots for free as well as not being forced to use 1 app store I can get apps from any one with out the app lock in.

Re:The high cost forced data plan + vioce plan is (2, Insightful)

seann (307009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594689)

So get one?

What's holding you back.

No money? Just use a credit card! (5, Insightful)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594621)

This is just another sad example of the American tendency to live beyond one's means. This is another symptom of the disease that is eating this country: financial illiteracy.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594683)

... ComScore found that iPhone purchases grew fastest among people with annual household incomes between $25,000 and $50,000.

Poor people are poor because they're stupid with their money. If or when the Democrats get control next week, we can see more money going down the poor people money pit: sales of consumer electronics, junk food, fast food, Walmart junk, etc... will all increase. But yet, when something that would reduce conspicuous consumption among folks who really need to save and develop some sort of fiscal discipline, it is shot down as helping the "rich". By the way, most middle and upper class folks need to develop some fiscal responsibility themselves. I've dealt with a few folks who were making mid six figures who can't pay their mortgages now because they've lost their jobs or businesses tanked.

What could do what I say? Ah yes, that's it, the Fair Tax - taxing consumption instead of savings and earning as the current ridiculous system does.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (1, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594897)

What could do what I say? Ah yes, that's it, the Fair Tax - taxing consumption instead of savings and earning as the current ridiculous system does.

Well, don't come whining to me if your government introduces such a tax, and you end up worse off - just like everyone else has under such a taxation system. I speak from comparatively recent experience since a consumption tax was introduced here in Australia in 2000 and the effect on most household purses was almost immediate.

Sure, if you can show me a government that is prepared to stop slugging you for income tax as well, your suggestion might (possibly) stand up, but good luck with that.

That aside, your remark that Poor people are poor because they're stupid with their money has to be one of the more repugnant statements I have read on Slashdot in quite a while, and is symptomatic of what is wrong with the attitude of our administrations. Sometimes people are poor because of the hand they have been dealt.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594945)

So your solution is to bring those who sell them the junk to power?

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (4, Insightful)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595275)

Poor people are poor because they're stupid with their money. If or when the Democrats get control next week, we can see more money going down the poor people money pit: sales of consumer electronics, junk food, fast food, Walmart junk, etc... will all increase.

It's easy to be smart with money when you have a lot of it, you have more choices. Compare the price per ounce of orange soda vs orange juice sometime. Healthy food costs more than unhealthy food, that's why you see all those slender affluent women in the suburbs (plus they have the money and time to excercise) but when you head down to less affluent areas you see more overweight women. No money for healthy food, no money or time for regular pilates and yoga.

Did you know that the government requires "food stamp" (they're now debit cards though) recipients to take a class in how to spend their food dollars before they get their benefit? They say things like "buy healthy food, buy fresh fruits and vegetables, don't buy junk." but every recipient knows that if they followed that advice their benefit wouldn't last the month.

It's folks like you that cause politicians to talk about helping the forgotten middle class? How can the middle class be forgotten when everyone talks about them and wants to cater to them. It's the poor and lower class that are truly forgotten. When's the last time you ever heard a politician say, "hey let's index the minimum wage to inflation and the CPI and make it retroactive to 1980" or "Let's increase the "food stamp" benefit so that people can actually afford to follow the food buying advice we give them." or "Hey lets tighten up labor laws so we don't have grocery chains hiring teenagers because they can: pay them less, know they're less likely to unionize and are less likely to complain about sexual harassment or bad workplace conditions."

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (2, Informative)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595281)

I know a few in that last category. Our household just barely falls into the lower middle class category, but because we're careful we're on track to retire at the age of 55 (comfortably). Save your money people, live cheaply. You'll be very thankful for it later.

Recommended reading: "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (1)

gregoryb (306233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594705)

Exactly! And as for this...

'I don't see there's going to be much of a slowdown, just because wireless devices are so much more of a necessity than they used to be,' Wu said.

Yeah, until a hard recession/depression redefines "necessity".

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594777)

And who ever considered the iPhone to be a necessity?

I have a wireless device. It cost me $1 when it came with my plan.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594707)

As opposed to all those wise people like me who lived well within our means and invested in stocks (!) and earned negative real returns on savings accounts? Yeah, that worked out real well for us, didn't it.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594757)

As opposed to all those wise people like me who lived well within our means and invested in stocks (!) and earned negative real returns on savings accounts? Yeah, that worked out real well for us, didn't it.

Are you retiring in the next year to two? If not, them you have nothing to worry about. (2009 and most of 2010 will be in recession)

If you hang in there and don't cash out, you will be whole again and maybe, if there's another boom afterward, actually end up ahead.

Now before you get really down on the system, keep in mind, you'd be worse off (less money, less control, watching much of your money paying for shit you don't want, and money going to the politicians' buddies) if the Government took care of everything for you.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (3, Interesting)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594993)

Normally, I'd wait for a non-AC to make the point, but since you're probably going to get modded up, I'll just have to snuff it out right here:

Are you retiring in the next year to two? If not, them you have nothing to worry about.

Right, because I wasn't planning on using the money in my savings account until I turn 65, is that it?

Okay, so let's just look at the "long-term" savings accounts. Given the recent downturn and the still-pathetic earnings yields, the stock market over -- yes, the long term -- will probably return 5% nominal, since it first has to make up the ~40% downturn. (The 10-year S&P fund return was 4.5%/year *before* the recent downturn, and even that isn't enough to cover the taxes+inflation+volatility. Even in a tax-advantaged account, that's not a good deal.)

So, in exchange for giving up most of my wealth when it's most valuable to me (at a young age), I get to have a whopping 1% inflation/tax/volatility-adjusted return by investing till 65.

If your personal time discount rate is more than 1% -- which it is for almost everyone -- it just doesn't make sense to save, I am now sadly forced to admit. So frankly, I can't really criticize people who took advantage of way-underprice interested rates to buy durable consumer items. Show me risk-free interest rates (money markets) of 8% real, and I will change my mind.

Btw, anyone notice how the reasoning I'm responding to is sounding more and more these days like, "oh, don't worry man, the roulette wheel can be kinda mean, just keep playing, you'll make up your losses, totally, the guys in suits have it all figured out."

Now before you get really down on the system, keep in mind, you'd be worse off (less money, less control, watching much of your money paying for shit you don't want, and money going to the politicians' buddies) if the Government took care of everything for you.

Relevance to what I actually posted, please?

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595119)

As opposed to all those wise people like me who lived well within our means and invested in stocks (!) and earned negative real returns on savings accounts? Yeah, that worked out real well for us, didn't it.

Are you retiring in the next year to two? If not, them you have nothing to worry about.

You just pointed out, then overlooked, one of the biggest reasons to get out while you still can. Boomers are about to start retiring, creating a decade or more of drag on the market when they start trading in 401Ks for Winnebagos. I wish I had a source handy, but I once read boomers accounted for roughly 50% of all 401K dollars out there. Simply put though, you're cherry picking your time periods. There is no such thing as a "can't lose" strategy. Tech was "can't lose" wasn't it. Housing was "can't lose" wasn't it? Long term is not a "can't lose" strategy as you would suggest. Anyone who had money in the market long term between 1964 and 1984 [earthlink.net] could tell you that.

If you bank on this being over in a year or two, you will regret it. If you're smart, you'll get your cash out before the boomers get what's left.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594759)

Stocks can be risky. I had my money all in bonds and didn't lose anything. (excepting inflation/currency valuations)

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594709)

And this article seems also to be viral marketing. "YES!!! You too can afford an iPhone!!!"

One of the reason many poor stay that way (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594819)

Horrible decisions made from the financial standpoint.

Still I am curious, how many of these people in the income brackets live at home, did not list their spouse's income as part of it, or share a house/apartment which could minimize their income needs?

I know it seems heartless to some but a lot of people just don't get ahead because of their own actions. Go by an apartment complex and your bound to see many cars that make you shake your head. A great example is where I work. In our own support staff we have two guys with expensive cars, like a fairly current Mercedes or year old BMW 5 series. Throw in the cool cell phone and I just sigh and walk away when they bitch about not having sufficient money to do things other people do. Yet these same clueless individuals will buy into whatever politicians tell them, specifically that somehow its not their fault and its not fair. They really believe this to be true!

An article in the AJC earlier in the year was showing the plight of the homeless in Atlanta, the impact of the story fell on its face as all but two of those pictured had a cell phone - a few were using them when the picture was taken.

What it comes down to is that people fail to set proper priorities. They refuse to understand that they just can't have everything unless they have the real means to do so. Yet instead of spending that very same wasted money on improving their means they squander it forever setting themselves back. We used to be a society which tried to help each other out but that fell by the wayside when many began to demand that help without making any sacrifice themselves.

Re:One of the reason many poor stay that way (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595075)

If a homeless person is trying to hunt for a job, what suggestions can you make that are better than a pay-as-you-go plan with a second-hand phone?

Re:One of the reason many poor stay that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595205)

If a homeless person is trying to hunt for a job, what suggestions can you make that are better than a pay-as-you-go plan with a second-hand phone?

Especially given that a homeless person will not, by definition, have a fixed location at which to install a land line.

Re:One of the reason many poor stay that way (3, Interesting)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595103)

Amen.

I heard an Ad Council ad on the radio a few years ago that dramatized a "Savers Anonymous" meeting.

"Hello, my name is Dave... and... I drive a car... that's SEVEN YEARS OLD!!! (*sob*)"

"Hi, I'm Dana, and last week... I couldn't help myself! I CLIPPED A COUPON!"

Etc.

The whole point was that in this world it is almost politically incorrect to be financially responsible.

Re:One of the reason many poor stay that way (0, Flamebait)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595129)

One of the reason many poor stay that way Horrible decisions made from the financial standpoint.

When is 25K to 50K poor? I know! When you're on Slashdot dealing with overprivileged spoiled brat libertarians whose daddies got them shell accounts on their workplaces Unix boxes when they were 8. I have a job, I work as a PA to the disabled. I made less than $16000 last year. Do you know why it pays so low? Because the majority of people who do it in the cities are african american women. And thusly the work is devalued. (Downstate where I'm at, there's more caucasians and men, but it's still a woman heavy job.) Privileged white folks do what they have always done, hand off their babies, elderly and disabled to black women to take care of, cause they sure don't want to wipe their grannies ass, it's below them. Have you ever wondered why there's so many women (and even lesbian women) in social services? Because the work is so devalued by those with economic power (affluent white males) that it pays so low that men won't do it. And because it pays so low the agencies can't be picky about hires, thusly leading to lesbian friendly workplaces. And because the social services are known as being lesbian friendly, college aged lesbians know they can go into social services and get jobs and not have to worry about hiding who they are.

An article in the AJC earlier in the year was showing the plight of the homeless in Atlanta, the impact of the story fell on its face as all but two of those pictured had a cell phone - a few were using them when the picture was taken.

Yep they have cell phones, because a pay as you go cell phone is much cheaper than a landline or a regular cell plan. I'm averaging about 8 bucks a month for my pay as you go phone. Technically it's a personal use phone but the job essentially requires it.

Re:One of the reason many poor stay that way (1)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595237)

I'm also going to throw out there that undergraduates are definitely in the poor brackets according to actual income. A low income bracket doesn't necessarily mean no disposable income. I am in this income bracket, and due to the way I live, would not have have any serious hardship imposed by having an iphone. Now, I happen to not want one, so it's not a problem, but statistics are always suspect until proven meaningful.

Besides, aren't the over $100k per year still addicted to blackberries? That only leaves hte $50-100k income group left to compete for iphones, and they all already have one, right?

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594909)

This is just another sad example of the American tendency to live beyond one's means. This is another symptom of the disease that is eating this country: financial illiteracy.

ANYBODY can live beyond their means; it has little to do with income level (20-50K in this case). To be honest I think there are many more people who live in the upper bracket who have a ton of debt than the simple guy who shleps to work every morning. The difference is that the the wealthy have many ways of concealing, expunging, deferring or otherwise spreading their debt around while the regular guy simply goes without something to make due for his or her extravagance. I also think most people know fully well what kind of debt they are getting into but chose to ignore it or put it off.

I must also add that an iPhone is hardly a huge investment. If I can afford it on my low income 50k salary most other people with a job can afford one too.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594943)

It's not that much money. It comes out to about $600 extra (I've got a student discount) over a period of two years compared to what I'd pay for a normal phone ($200 for the iphone plus $400 for the data plan). I'm a graduate student and get paid less than 25k, but it's easily in my range. If you've got a wife and kids, then yes, it's probably a bad idea to get it, but if you're single 25k-50k is enough to live comfortably and still buy cool gadgets.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594949)

They don't have credit cards in europe?

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594987)

A few months ago, I decided that the iPhone looked pretty cool. An unlocked/jailbroken iPhone seemed like a fun development platform (touchscreen interface, accelerometer, GPS, decent SDK, and interesting application possibilities).

Now, if somebody can afford an iPhone, it's probably me. I make decent money (more than "$25000 to $50000"), I don't have any consumer debt, I keep my monthly expenses to minimum, and I save/invest like a fiend (currently working towards buying a house).

But when I saw that I would have to sign up for an expensive monthly plan, I decided against getting an iPhone. I don't have a desire to tie up $2400 (or more) over the next two years just because I want to play with a new toy.

Instead, I put aside $20 out of my weekly budget for a few months (I took it out of my "having fun" budget category). As a happy coincidence, Apple refreshed the line before I was ready to buy. That dropped the price on previous generation iPod Touch models. I picked up a first-gen 8GB model for about $60 off the normal Apple Store price.

The best part? I was absolutely right. It's incredibly fun to program for the iPod Touch. I made a good purchase (*purchase*, folks, not an investment-- you don't "invest" in consumer electronics). It's missing the GPS receiver and the speaker functionality, but I can deal with that.

2 months at $80 per month, versus 24 months at $100 per month (or more). How difficult is *that* math?

Yeah, I didn't get cell service out of the deal, but I can get cheaper plans that better suit my needs elsewhere, anyway.

It's possible to buy this sort of stuff and be financially literate. It's just that most people tend to sign their lives away for the latest toy. We've stopped looking at the price tag, and started looking at the nice guy from the store credit department.

It's not wrong to occasionally get a toy, but being able to afford "easy monthly payments" for a toy is not the same as being able to afford the toy itself.

Re:No money? Just use a credit card! (1)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595145)

This study is leaving out very important details. How big are these households? I bet they are not single parents with four children. They are most likely young singles or couples just out of college, which is the likely to demographic to enjoy tech toys anyhow. Most of my engineer friends made within that income bracket just out of college. If you live in a city with decent housing costs (where I live, you can buy a house for $800 / month), you can easily afford an iPhone, a mortgage, a car payment, health insurance and still save for retirement.

Moderation test (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594721)

The iPhone crowd is still dominated by affluent males between the ages of 18 and 35

Those of us who don't bask in the glow of all things Apple might say they're afflicted as well as affluent.

bling (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594725)

The iPhone is comming to be widely regarded as "bling". You always see more bling among low-income people.

Re:bling (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594857)

Bingo. It's the same reason low-income people drive Beamers, Benzes, etc., especially amongst the low-income African Americans and hispanics. They might be livin' in da hood, but they wear more diamonds than anyone in the 'burbs.

Re:bling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594971)

No reason to bring race into this.
Plenty of white trail park residents in the midwest driving El Caminos with 3 thousand dollar rims while not paying attention to the road because they're talking on their iphones.

Re:bling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595199)

Fuck race, this is statistics.

Re:bling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595159)

Your racism overlooks the fact that poor whites also drive expensive cars: Tahoes, Escalades, and Hummers. They also have their own version of bling, diamond rings and pendants combined with gold necklaces.

Many of these people live in trailer homes in the sticks.

Some of them draw welfare. And your point is?

Re:bling (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594931)

It's true. A lot of people that turn out to be millionaires/have lots of money don't have lucrative sources of income - they're just smart with how they spend and don't piss it away on stupid things like an iPhone. It's not a matter of how much you earn, it's also a matter of how you use it.

Re:bling (1)

howardd21 (1001567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594985)

I recall a news video of people in line fro an iPhone when they were released and the content included the fast that many of them were "illegal aliens" and welfare recipients. A lot rode public transportation to the Apple store. It seems like misplaced values to me, but I guess they value an iPhone higher than some other things I might value.

Why Jump To (Racist) Conclusions? (-1, Troll)

WamBam (1275048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595043)

I don't think you RTFA. There is nothing in this article to suggest that people with 'low incomes' are overspending to purchase the iphone. College students typically earn a low income and I don't think a college student with an iphone would be that unusual. Of course, with all the talk of 'bling' and 'Beamers' and 'Benzes' I'm going to assume that 'low income' is being interpreted as 'black'. But let's say that the article was written about lower income black people purchasing iphones. The article still doesn't suggest that they are living beyond they're means. Yea, there are those attracted to the iphone because it's cool (which is certainly attractive to people of all income brackets) but the article also suggest that people are finding it to be useful, even 'essential'. But, rather then discussing the actual article, people decide it's time to discuss what's 'wrong' with minorities. Minority does not equal poor. Unless you are Obama apparently, and then you're a rich liberal elitist who can safely afford all the ipods you wants.

Re:Why Jump To (Racist) Conclusions? (4, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595111)

He never said black. Bling is a slang term, and is used in the hip hop culture, which as also spread to white, latino, asians and other races. It's now a universal theme. There is no racism here, you're just being over-sensitive.

Re:Why Jump To (Racist) Conclusions? (1)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595185)

People are suggesting that the "gangstah" (read: Rap videos, MTV, BET) culture values expensive 'things,' be it nice cars, diamonds, designer clothing... The problem is, many (not all) of the people who cling onto this culture cannot afford such things, resorting to being irresponsible with money (not putting food on the table, not saving for college, buying an iphone instead of paying rent).
It is not a race thing- it is a culture thing- whites, blacks,hispanics, asians, whatever. It's a different culture with different values. I think it's irresponsible, stupid, and so obnoxious... but who am I to judge.
You're probably right that these low incomes indicate college students. But is it so hard to believe that a 'fab ghetto style-4evah' guy/girl making 25k/yr who buys 2k of bling a year isn't also buying an iPhone (which has the annual cost of nearly double a traditional cell)?
Low-income isn't black. The people who automatically get defensive about race when talking about income issues are the racists.

But then again, I'm just a little whitey from a suburb in Maine.

Re:Why Jump To (Racist) Conclusions? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595191)

Here in Pennsylvania, said "rich liberal elitists" are all running around with iPhones and Ammo Clips on the belts, clinging to their guns, while saying the rosary,... ;-)

Re:Why Jump To (Racist) Conclusions? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595271)

That subject line applies to you, not to me. Plenty of poor white people go for bling... So who has jumped to (racist) conclusions?
:)

I need an iPhone Pro, then (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594729)

I don't want the same phone that some poorie has. That's the reason I own a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro. No poories allowed!

Under 50k is low income? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594731)

I wish Barack's healthcare plan had that kind of range!

wellfare recipients getting iphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594749)

should people who may be on wellfare be purchasing iphones?

"Fastest Growing" (4, Insightful)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594751)

"Fastest Growing" is a meaningless statistic without context, and TFA doesn't give much of that. For example, it may be the fastest growing because the other income groups rushed out to buy first, while the lower income groups saved up.

Similarly, it could be the fastest growing because it 'grew' from 100 people to 148 people. Still a meager total, but explosive growth.

Obama (2, Funny)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594753)

Since obama is going to give everyone $500, and since you can't put your kids through college or buy a new house with that, I am going to buy an iphone with it. America is great

Drug dealers don't report most income (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594755)

Thats why most appear to have a lower household income than you might otherwise think.

Low income means a lot of things (2, Informative)

dlenmn (145080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594767)

I'm a first year graduate student in physics, and about 1/3 of my class have iPhones. We're definitely low-income -- Teaching Assistant pay is ~$14k/year.

Usually when the phrase "low income" comes up, people think poor people in the inner city or whatnot. Here, I bet low income mostly means students and the likes. I think owning an iPhone is silly on our pay, but at least we have decent future income potential (better than most low income people), so it may not really be beyond our means.

Low income? (5, Funny)

dtmancom (925636) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594851)

$50k/year is considered "low income," now?

Re:Low income? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594947)

$50k/year is considered "low income," now?

I know! According to our state rules, low income means $16,000

WOW! under $50K! WOW!

Where's my stamps man!?! lol

Re:Low income? (0)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595165)

Where's my stamps man!?! lol

I'm always amazed at how little affluent people (especially on slashdot) know about how lower income people live. There are no food stamps anymore, they replaced them with debit style cards about a decade ago.

Re:Low income? (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595265)

"food debit style card" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Some people in the UK still call their state benefits a Giro (a kind of cheque you can cash at the post office), even though it gets paid directly into your bank account these days.

I'm sorry but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594887)

just because wireless devices are so much more of a necessity than they used to be

Wireless is not a necessity. People may feel that they need to be "connected" to the world 24/7 but they really don't.

Because they are constrained by IT? (1)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594925)

Maybe it's because low-income folk typically don't hold jobs that require a smartphone where said jobs have IT departments that say you can have a BlackBerry or a BlackBerry?

I do agree with a previous poster that a lot of it is probably the American habit of living beyond their means as well.

Opera on the iPhone (5, Insightful)

NtroP (649992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594953)

I was asked about Opera not being allowed on the iPhone yesterday. My immediate gut reaction was that Apple was being a douche. All my instincts cry out that programmers should be able to put anything they want out there and let the market decide.

I got to thinking about it though. To the best of my knowledge, there is no global preference in place to set which apps respond to which data sources. What I mean is, when I click on a link in an email, Safari opens the page. When I click on a phone number in google maps, an email or a web page, the phone app opens it. Same thing for music, podcasts, videos, etc. You get the idea.

This keeps the phone simple, intuitive and predictable. All the other apps I install are all for doing some *other* specific task than what is provided by the core applications/functionality. What would happen then if I loaded Opera, Konqueror, Firefox, etc. on the phone. Which one would open my web links? Obviously the one specified in my preferences (which don't exist). What if I wanted to open this particular link with FireFox this time? I can't right-click and say open link with. Do I have to quit the program, open preferences and temporarily select Firefox?

I realize that it would be rather simple for Apple to address these issues and add this functionality, but once that camel's nose is under the tent you are now dealing with people demanding a preference and underlying mechanism for modifying the behavior of all the core functionalities. I want Skype to open when I touch a phone number in an email or on a web page (or in my address book), but I only want it to come up when I'm not connected to wireless. When I'm on wireless I want MyVOIP to make the calls. This also applies to which app you want sending emails, text messages, etc.

While the geek in me can get into this sort of configurability, I've already seen the whole other level of complexity added to the preference system with just the addition of push and Exchange connectivity. If users had to go through page after page of preferences just to find the right place to indicate which app they wanted to store their contacts in and have that tie into their Exchange push connection, it would be a nightmare.

I don't think the masses are ready for that or even really want it. That sort of complexity will make the iPhone just like every other smart phone out there. My coworker was bragging up his WinMobile-based smartphone at lunch the other day. He was saying it could do so much more than the iPhone. I don't doubt it, but my god, the gyrations he had to go through to tweak a setting to get it to do things. Just setting up a new wireless connection or a new IMAP email account seemed ridiculously complex. He said it was just due to the fact that he'd downloaded other email apps and tools and that each one had a different place to set up some of the preferences.

Is there a place for a mobile device that lets a geek configure every possible thing and choose exactly which software performed what tasks? Absolutely. That place should rightly be filled by Android and matched with the particular hardware design that that geek has chosen for their particular needs/fetish. I don't think the iPhone is where it belongs.

It may be the height of irony but I can see the iPhone becoming the phone people refer to when they say "Dammit, all I want in my smart-phone is to be able to make calls, surf the web, email, mapping, music, games and movies! I don't want to have to mess with all that other crap." in the same way purists today say "I just want a phone that makes calls."

Re:Opera on the iPhone (2, Informative)

Linux Ate My Dog! (224079) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595221)

Android actually indeed, from the ground up, allows applications to advertise to the system that they are willing and able to handle and display certain forms of data, or publish that they will allow the user to do certain things. [techsociotech.com] When an application makes a request to have a certain data-type handled (like "open this web page"), the OS selects which of the installed apps that can will get to handle the request.

But this need not create a lot of complexity. The failure you are describing is a usability failure of cruft upon cruft of setting and defaults that were not properly constrained by good UI guidelines of where they should be found and how they should be set. Right now setting the default browser on most desktop OSes is a snap: just run the browser and it will ask "Do you want me to be the default?" and we're done. I think that if the OS has a good system for managing these settings -- and WinMo does not because it never cared -- this need not be such a nightmare.

What it will be nighmare for, though, is tech support "Wait, you have what dialer installed? You browser is which?" Still, there is so much power in having a controlled and OS-blessed way to chain little programs together, each adding their own value, from different creative individuals. Very UNIXy.

status symbol (3, Interesting)

Potor (658520) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594989)

This story concurs with my own observation; I take the Broad Street line in Philly from Center City and go pretty far north every day; there are many apparently low-income people with iPhones and iPod Touches. It actually amazes me.

But unlike the article, I never thought the iPhone/Touch were chosen based on frugality; rather, I think they are status symbols, vulgar displays of wealth like knock-off designer clothes and cheap bling. There are much cheaper devices, or combination of devices, available.

The article is more like industrial cheer-leading, which apparently concludes that the iPhone has become a necessity. Please!

Low Income? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595035)

Considering the average annual household income is around $45,000, this says a lot about Apple.

Terrible Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595141)

Holy hell! I hear some of these $50k/yr povs are allowed to go to movies, go on dates, and go out to eat. Irresponsible assholes, right?

How can they afford the monthly charges? (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595181)

ComScore found that iPhone purchases grew fastest among people with annual household incomes between $25,000 and $50,000.

What!?! How can this group afford the monthly charges? I just checked the AT&T site http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/specials/iphone-info.jsp [att.com] and saw that the minimum monthly charge is $70/month, plus the $200 outlay for the phone itself. There is simply no way I could afford this while paying for taxes, mortgage, utilities, food, gas, clothing, college tuitions and home and car maintenance, but then I try to live within my means. Next up, government bailout for iPhone owners ...

Old adage (3, Insightful)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595189)

"If you want to be rich, sell to the poor. If you want to be poor, sell to the rich."

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...