Lion of the Blogosphere

Mobile phones and class

You have to be pretty stupid to think that they aren’t important class markers. And they are also very important status symbols for the bottom half of the population. That you can afford a $700 iPhone very clearly shows that you aren’t among the poorest of the poor. As you get wealthier, they say less. Obviously, if you are in the class where you are judging people by the cost of their summer homes in the Hamptons, then someone’s choice of a less expensive phone won’t be interpreted as an inability to afford a better one. But the choice of phone still does say something.

It’s pretty obvious that iPhones have more status than Android phones, and that “feature phones” (the euphemism for the dumb phones of the past) have the lowest status. There are lots of statistics out there which show that people who use iPhones are more likely to be college educated and have higher income. When I think of someone with higher income and a college education but who nevertheless uses an Android, I think of an Indian person working in the IT department. Most Indians are way too cheap to buy an iPhone when they can buy an Android with equivalent technical specs for so much less money.

I think that no matter what your social class, clinging to a feature phone gives off the vibe that you’re too stupid to figure out how to use a smartphone. Or if your income is in doubt, that you’re too poor or too cheap to get a better phone. My prole parents from Staten Island use feature phones. But I know wealthier people in the same age bracket as my parents who live in more affluent neighborhoods and use iPhones.

I’m not saying that any of this is how the world should be, I’m merely observing how it is.

If you think it doesn’t matter and that no one notices what kind of phone you are using, I would say that you are wrong. People notice your phone a lot, and they make judgments about you based on your phone. I even remember my former (female) boss mocking an employee (behind her back, of course) because she didn’t use smartphone.

In comments, some have put forth the theory that among the very highest class, things could be different. For example, it’s believed that among the highest class of people, it’s considered gauche to drive too expensive or too showy of a car. Commenters pushing this line of thinking have also proposed that having a smartphone means that you’re a corporate wage slave who’s required to always be checking his email and thus not your own man. (Although, remember, that among the bottom 98% of the population, having a job that’s important enough that you always have to check your email is considered a marker of high status and not of low status.)

But there’s just too much other stuff that a smartphone is good for to think that one could demonstrate higher social class by not having one. Upper class people could use their smartphones to check their stock portfolios and read the Wall Street Journal, which Paul Fussell would agree are upper class activities. Upper class people don’t like to waste time, and smartphones save you time with their more efficient voicemail retrieval and text messaging.

There’s a perception that iPhones are easier to use than Android (and having tried, in the past, to use both a Samsung Galaxy S3 and some Motorola Android phone, I share that perception of the iPhone being easier to use), and because the highest class of people wouldn’t want to waste their time learning how to use a more difficult phone, I predict that they would mostly be iPhone users.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Technology

83 Responses

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  1. “When I think of someone with higher income and a college education but who nevertheless uses an Android, I think of a (cheap) Indian person”

    You’re describing me in a nutshell–but I protest, when I picked up my S7 (android) I don’t recall it being any cheaper than the equivalent iPhone.

    Roli

    April 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    • Describing me accurately too Lion. My last 3 smartphone in 6 years are s5, s3 and s2. My tabs are samsung also (non exploding kind). What can I say, I am indian and as JS would say prole.

      Wt

      April 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      • Proles also own iPhones and so do some NAMs.

        America is a joke!

        JS

        April 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      • I thought you were Bengali?

        Otis the Sweaty

        April 7, 2017 at 1:12 am

      • Otis. That I am. Bengali and Indian. And prior h1b. And prole.

        Wt

        April 7, 2017 at 11:15 am

  2. Correct that an upper class or TOOS could have a flip phone ironically or because they really don’t give a f$&@. But they would never have an Android.

    B.T.D.T.

    April 6, 2017 at 4:49 pm

  3. I had a cell phone that didn’t even have internet connectivity until a couple months ago when I decided to get the newest iPhone. I have to say I do appreciate its value.

    chairman

    April 6, 2017 at 4:51 pm

  4. My son is in high school. He is very happy with his Samsung 5. He thinks Apple means stupid. He enjoys programming. Some low income student possess fancy phones. Often times children receive very nice phones during custody battles. Status is determined by doing stuff. Such as being in cheer, band, football, AP classes and class rank. I think old people notice the phones more. The start of Generation Z grew up on smart phones, otherwise known as pacifiers, especially to parents.

    Gleam

    April 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    • “Status is determined by doing stuff. ”

      Great line. Lion, this guy packs more wisdom into one throwaway than you do in a year’s worth of posts. I just wish people wouldn’t say “often times.”. Gratingly redundant.

      You Know Me

      April 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm

  5. I’m still using a basic cell phone, an LG flip type that I got from Target for about $25. I could have gotten a smartphone instead, for thirty times the price and then a lot more in monthly service charges, but it just wouldn’t be worth it for me. I don’t use or need the extra features, and I already have an iPod Touch (bought in 2015), which has wi-fi connectivity.

    Of course, almost everyone that I know, from relatives to co-workers, and people I pass by on the street, has a smartphone (about 50/50 observed split between iPhones and Android, with my family favoring the former). I just hope that I am not judged harshly by others, and that they instead focus on my demeanor, my manner of speaking and way of interacting with others, and with how I dress, for class and status indicators.

    Yankee

    April 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

  6. I’m college educated but use an old iPhone 5. Will the beautiful people look down on me?

    Brendan

    April 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    • People won’t notice the difference between an iPhone 5 and the newer iPhone SE, so I don’t think so.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      • I use an iPhone 5c and it looks tiny compared to all of the iPhone pluses. But it fits nicely within the hand-hole in a 10lbs weight, so I can prop it up in one to take videos in the gym.

        I disagree in general that there’s much status in using an iPhone, as the up-front price can be subsidized by carriers. And there are plenty of lower middle class people paying more than the cost of an iPhone every month in car payments.

        Also, elderly often favor feature phones like the Jitterbug.

        Dave Pinsen

        April 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      • Did you really not catch that sarcasm?

        onetwothree

        April 6, 2017 at 11:13 pm

  7. When I think of someone with higher income and a college education but who nevertheless uses an Android, I think of an Indian person working in the IT department.

    Many white nerds use Android to signal to other white nerds they are too “independent” to use iOS. In nerd social circles Android is sometimes the superior class marker.

    However I still have no idea why anyone would select a Surface over an iPad Pro.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    April 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    • I’m surprised someone as tech-savvy as Lion would waste money on Apple products. I’m much happier with my Google phone than I was with my iPhone. I especially love how I can take it with me on international trips without switching the SIM card or paying roaming fees.

      When I think iPhones, a teenage girl taking a selfie with a duck face comes to mind…

      anon

      April 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    • I use a Surface Pro 4 to teach math with. I attach it to a projector, and write on the screen. I also record the screen and my voice as I teach, and post the lectures online.

      I’ve been using a Surface for several years. Apple was too slow to come out with a pen. I’ve heard they have one now, but I’m used to the Surface now. It works great.

      I have a Samsung Note 3 phone. It has a tiny pen that fits into a little port on the phone. I was going to get a Note 7 but then they started exploding. The Note 3 still works well.

      I don’t see any point in switching to an iphone. I don’t care about status.

      I don’t think it is a mark of status anyway. All the students seem to have smart phones.

      Rosenmops

      April 6, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      • Have used surface since it first launched (still using the original surface pro) and can concur of how useful it is.

        Simba of the Blogosphere

        April 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      • I’m much happier with my Google phone than I was with my iPhone.

        The interface on Android doesn’t work as seamlessly as iOS does on iPhone. Android is customizable, though, and that’s another big point in its favor as far as nerd programmers are concerned. But if one isn’t interested in customization Android has few design and build quality advantages over the iPhone.

        I’ve been using a Surface for several years. Apple was too slow to come out with a pen. I’ve heard they have one now, but I’m used to the Surface now. It works great.

        Apple usually waits for a competitor to come up with a breakthrough product before Apple takes the basic concept and produces a superior version.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        April 7, 2017 at 12:02 am

  8. Isn’t this is about five years out of date? It did matter, but smart phones are common place commodities now and nobody cares. Phones with huge screens (“phablets”) are a prole marker, though. Apple had to get into that market and also make big phones for its many, many prole customers.

    Better question: Road Cycling or Golf?

    bobbybobbob

    April 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    • BTW, I really look forward to the best smart watches getting good enough and stylish enough that you don’t need to carry a phone at all. They’re almost there now. That will be the highest status modality.

      bobbybobbob

      April 6, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      • The screens will never be big enough to be useful.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      • @lion – you are thinking too soon. Phones will evolve to have holographic interfaces a la mass effect Omni-tool. Size of screen won’t matter then.

        Simba of the Blogosphere

        April 6, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      • And eventually the phones will be implanted in our brains, no need to carry a physical phone!

    • Road Cycling or golf?

      I could take any road cycler and make him a decent golfer in two weeks. But I charge up the ass.

      Marty

      April 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    • I don’t think so. Unlike a big car or big home, a big phone is cool (whereas in 2005 a big phone would be prole, looking like something from 1998; what you’d want is a smaller flip phone). Because people want to do alot of stuff on it, and that requires room for maneuvering.

      Dain

      April 6, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    • Old people like me like larger phones because they are easier to read. or maybe I’m just a prole.

      Rosenmops

      April 6, 2017 at 9:21 pm

  9. Among the hipster art school crowd, having a flip phone is a rad curiosity. It’s a counter-signal, a bit like enrolling your kids in techless summer camp or something. Unfortunately when it comes time to getting an Uber nobody will be looking to that person for help in the effort.

    Dain

    April 6, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    • The true believers in ‘that’ crowd wont use uber because it isn’t unionized and will hail a cab. This works in cities like dc (business districts) or nyc because cab frequency is still high enough to street hail. I have a smartphone but I don’t use uber because I find it faster to street hail a cab when I’m in either city.

      Simba of the Blogosphere

      April 6, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      • Is a cab more expensive than Uber?

        E. Rekshun

        April 7, 2017 at 11:19 am

      • @E. Rekshun – it is more expensive than uber x but cheaper than uber black. I despise uber x – the quality has gone markedly down as uber has been forced to wallow lower and lower in the driver pool to keep a supply high enough.

        Simba of the Blogosphere

        April 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm

  10. So many people have an iPhone though (Apple sells millions of them)..does it convey that much status?

    In comments, some have put forth the theory that among the very highest class, things could be different. For example, it’s believed that among the highest class of people, it’s considered gauche to drive too expensive or too showy of a car. Commenters pushing this line of thinking have also proposed that having a smartphone means that you’re a corporate wage slave who’s required to always be checking his email and thus not your own man. (Although, remember, that among the bottom 98% of the population, having a job that’s important enough that you always have to check your email is considered a marker of high status and not of low status.)

    yes…countersigning is big among the the smart-rich. “Oh, I drive a used car but I’m worth millions” Android phones convey more intelligence though than Iphones.

    grey enlightenment

    April 6, 2017 at 7:05 pm

  11. “It’s pretty obvious that iPhones have more status than Android phones,”

    I don’t think so. Many “average” people have Iphones. Someone at work couldn’t find their Iphone, but he wasn’t worried that somebody stole it because he said everybody has one now.

    There are also expensive Android phones.

    ttgy

    April 6, 2017 at 7:11 pm

  12. I don’t get how Apple gets the next generation hooked on Apple. Schools use Chromebooks and I don’t see parents buying their kids iPhones (but maybe iPads). Why get your kid a $700 phone when there is a $100 alternative? And once the kids are hooked on Chromebooks and Android phones, why would they switch?

    Karmakazy

    April 6, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    • I work in a school presently. This is in ‘trump’ country (in the midatlantic/ne) though i’m sure this particular school district voted for HRC more so than Trump. The district doesn’t use chromebooks but ipads and the ‘coolest’/’popular’ 5th graders have iPhones. Even if the school didn’t use ipads but chromebooks, the trend driving kids are gifted iphones from their parents (usually the older model when parents upgrade to the latest) causing other kids to desire them.

      Simba of the Blogosphere

      April 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      • Yeah, the kids in my family have been playing video games on old iphones since they were tots. I’d venture that iphones are middle class or lower (with no replacement tech in upper classes). This may be one personal possession that has been democratized across class to a degree. WIreless carrier financing of phones is likely most responsible for that phenomenon (most proles have been able to afford <$30 per month extra for 24 months).

        Macbooks are (barely) middle / upper-middle from what I observe. I'd venture that most iphone owners use a windows laptop or desktop as their primary computing device apart from the smartphone.

        Dave

        April 6, 2017 at 10:41 pm

  13. You say that features phones are perceived as being for ppl too stupid to use smartphones. But the same could be said of Apple iphones — they are for those too stupid to use Android phones. I know sophisticated users who insist on unlocked Android phones that allow them to install custom ROMs.

    Roger

    April 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm

  14. Can anybody explain how I can get my iPhone to work as a WIFI hotspot for my laptop/ipad? My carrier is AT&T.

    Daniel

    April 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    • With plain android phones, there is a setting to turn on a wifi hotspot. I used it with a prepaid ATT sim card all the time. I have heard of it being done on iphones also, but you might have a phone that the carrier has restricted.

      Roger

      April 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

  15. Even illegal immigrants have iphones now.

    Impoverished rural people in Africa have smartphones.

    Perhaps smartphones are losing their cachet as a status signifier, in the same way no one really cares what kind of pen you use, which used to be a big deal before pens were ubiquitous and cheap.

    jjbees

    April 6, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    • A law of status: If rural proles in Africa have what you do, it is either low status or status neutral. For example, ascariasis, or smartphones.

      jjbees

      April 6, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      • That’s true. Though, this specific law is also observably slow in its social enforcement.

        Here’s a good measure: when feature phones come back in style in some dip-shit hipster neighborhood in NYC, then this particular totem will have come full circle. Until then…

        Dave

        April 6, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    • People still use pens???

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      • Samsung Note phones have pens!

        Rosenmops

        April 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm

  16. Thanks for summarizing interesting remarks made by commentators, I’m sure many of your regular readers don’t go through all the comments.

    Agree with the commentator above who said android can be a tech marker, for techie types who want the ability to fiddle. I haven’t read the “phone case” comments, so it might have been discussed earlier, but it is possible to get transparent back cases that are thin and invisible.

    I find “cool” cases are more common with non-techie android users who want to “jazz up” their phones, but maybe that’s a function of the users themselves; perhaps the iphone users I know just happen to be more no-nonsense types and don’t care as much about phones.

    onepercgrl

    April 6, 2017 at 8:13 pm

  17. OT: Hillary is shoving her fat ass in where it doesn’t belong, mouthing off that we should be bombing Assad’s airfields. Leave aside 1) we don’t really know yet whether there was a poison gas attack, 2) who is the author of said attack, 3) even if there was a poison gas attack from Assad’s forces, we don’t know if it was authorized by Assad himself. There are lots of loose cannons running around Syria and Iraq now, under only nominal control.

    Lion scoffed at my assertion that Hillary is planing to run again in 2020. If she is not dead, or comatose, or nearly so, in 2020, she is running for President.

    Daniel

    April 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm

  18. Another OT: Nerd computer programmers are smarter than lawyers. How do we know? Mark Zuckerberg caved in to the diversity jihadis and vowed to make sure that at least 33% of lawyers working on Facebook matters are women or minorities.

    Note, he would never accede to a demand that 33% of his programmers be women or NAMs. The company would fall apart within weeks if he did so, but lawyers, big deal. All you need is a few smart partners to guide the associate drones and good legal work gets done.

    Lion I wish you would pipe in here. You know a bit about IQ, lawyering and programming. It is my contention that the FLOOR IQ for a decent to good programmer must be around 120. The distribution of programmers is not Gaussian so I think that good to excellent programmers cluster around the 130-140 range, and there are a fair number of genius programmers in the 140+ range.

    Programmers should get paid more money than they do.

    Daniel

    April 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    • I’m sure Facebook is full of mediocre Indian H-1B programmers.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 6, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    • I have a law story you might find interesting. I once worked at a SF firm that was defending a $1 billion claim. This was a firm which already, way back in ’99, was into the diverse hiring thing, as long as you went to a top-6 law school. Anyway, they represented a famous investment banker, who retired and sold his company for a bil to B of A, which wanted in after repeal of Glass-Steagall. But after a year or so, the formerly boutique bankers decided they didn’t like working for a commercial bank, called up their old boss, convinced him to unretire, and re-start the boutique. Thing is, B ofbA had neglected to get a non-compete, so they were SOL and this claim could have been defended by any night school bozo. The irony was, the lawyer handling the case was a former math professor. He told me he wasn’t quite smart enough to make it to the top rungs of math, so he chucked it and went to Yale law.

      Explainer 21

      April 6, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    • Programmers should get paid more money than they do.

      They don’t because of H-1B immigration. And that’s why a career in computer programming sucks.

      E. Rekshun

      April 7, 2017 at 11:27 am

  19. Oswald Spengler

    April 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    • Wanting your card to have a watermark is about as solidly middle-class as it gets, ironically enough for the befuddled Mr. Bateman.

      I’m pretty sure that Wall Street has long been inhabited by a healthy herd of middle class or lower upstarts. The suspendered Italians in Lewis’s Liar’s Poker come to mind.

      Dave

      April 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm

  20. Lots of Senators on the Hill use feature phones – Schumer for one.

    Simba of the Blogosphere

    April 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm

  21. Re: iphone vs feature phone in the matter of class

    I understand how this situation, in favor of the newer technology, would be unclear to people who might reject smartphones as too new or work-oriented to be a class symbol; but I believe that they are thinking of this wrongly.

    Fussell is great, but his book was written before computing technology took off in the consumer market.

    Before, television was not even definitively the best conveyor of information that we had. It wasn’t hard to better what you could get via television and thus it wasn’t hard to shun television technology as unnecessary, and to make doing so a matter of class.

    Computing technology has changed that dynamic. You can’t beat it for information consumption and conveyance.

    Look at it this way: today, is it “upper middle” class to receive your news and entertainment only via radio or an old black and white 1950’s television (would that it worked)? Or is it upper-middle class to have access to the newest flat screen television (however hidden away) should the want arise to consume information?

    For some upper class individuals who have no requirement for accurate information aside from what their advisers give them, listening to NPR and a.m. news radio may cut it. Upper class pretenders, such as academics, may also indulge in this privilege. For everyone else, it’s going to look low class to rely on a bulky old television, the radio, or a feature phone.

    Dave

    April 6, 2017 at 10:28 pm

  22. I come from uber-SWPL land and 7-9 years ago having the iPhone was a mark of eliteness amongst the Tier 1 university and grad school crowd. Having a droid was a mark of being part of the crowd, and having a dumbphone meant you were either a prole or really really didn’t care.

    Now everything is upside down. When I go to academic conferences, an increasing number of the students and professors deliberately show off their flip phones and slide phones. Nobody talks about it out loud, but everyone knows that if high proles have iPhones and everyone else has a droid then there’s no point in having a smartphone.

    maize

    April 6, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    • Yeah see, Lion is wrong

      Fact Checker

      April 7, 2017 at 5:52 am

    • Those slide out keyboard little phones are cool. I used to have one.

      Fact Checker

      April 7, 2017 at 5:58 am

  23. I didn’t even HAVE a cell phone until 2007. I use a $10 Alcatel flip phone and never had a carrier other than Net10 prepaid wireless. I’m retired and I really don’t give a shit what anyone thinks.

    sestamibi

    April 6, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    • whoa, bad ass over here guys 🙂

      Fact Checker

      April 7, 2017 at 5:52 am

  24. When I think of someone with higher income and a college education but who nevertheless uses an Android, I think of an Indian person working in the IT department

    Dude I agree with most of your post but this is a bit over-the-top. Plenty of people are using Androids. Like me!

    S.J., Esquire

    April 6, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    • Denigrating Androids may have been a subtle troll by lion. If so, well played.

      Anon

      April 7, 2017 at 6:20 am

  25. The only point of social status is become women care about it. And the type of phone you have isn’t going to make a difference for sex. That would be pretty far down the list of things that influence that outcome.

    So, you just need the cheapest smartphone. It’s possible you might miss out on social opportunities if you don’t have WhatsApp and other similar apps, but it makes absolutely no difference whether you have an iphone or not. People might have been impressed with such things about 10 years ago.

    Fact Checker

    April 7, 2017 at 5:56 am

  26. Does Bill Gates have an iPhone?

    I’m pretty sure wealthy people don’t see cell phones as status markers. They only care about things other people can’t have; office buildings; sports teams; prep school educations; desirable real estate. They don’t want to be that accessible anyway. You can always mention your super expensive prep school or show people photos of your Manhattan penthouse or Hawaiian vacation home using a flip phone if for some reason you feel the urge to signal, which most wealthy don’t feel all that often.

    I just got an iphone this year and before that used flip phones. My old prole gf was insistent on having the latest iphone, I think that made me associate such needs as negative or non-status markers. On the other hand, I have at least one top 1% relative who still uses a flip phone.

    Curle

    April 7, 2017 at 7:04 am

    • And by ‘prole’ I mean someone who grew up middle class or lower middle class who received a college education from a respectable school but who still looks up to and admires people with money just because they have money. I realize that isn’t Fussell’s definition of prole.

      Curle

      April 7, 2017 at 7:26 am

  27. If there’s any status difference between iPhones and Androids I haven’t noticed it.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

    • Don’t expect to find a SWPL woman holding an Android.

      JS

      April 7, 2017 at 9:33 pm

  28. Most Indians are way too cheap to buy an iPhone when they can buy an Android with equivalent technical specs for so much less money.

    this is why i use android (i’m not indian)

  29. When obamaphones came out they were flip phones. Are smartphones now given out as obamaphones.

    I’m familiar with a couple of low-income working black single-mothers that each have a late model iPhone, but also keep an old obamaphone flip phone for when service gets interrupted on the smartphone for non-payment.

    E. Rekshun

    April 7, 2017 at 11:24 am

  30. In 1992, I had a brick-phone and gained a lot of status from that. Now, I’m still using a 3-year old flip phone under a $25/mo unlimited talk+text MetroPCS plan, and don’t plan on getting a smartphone. Also, I don’t have cable TV, Netflix, instagram, tweet, or a legitimate Facebook.

    E. Rekshun

    April 7, 2017 at 11:35 am

  31. “Is a cab more expensive than Uber?”

    Yes. Easily. Plus you get charged in a traditional cab for sitting in traffic. Meter keeps running. With Uber you know it will cost before you get in, traffic or no.

    Dain

    April 7, 2017 at 3:14 pm

  32. lion is assuming that “class” is a useful word in describing the social structure of america-stan.

    it isn’t. high class american = oxymoron.

    sad!

    if you didn’t need a beeper or if you wouldn’t have needed a beeper…

    you don’t need a mobile phone at all, and if you have one…

    you’re PROLE!

    america is a joke that none laughed at.

    just sad!

    fussell was huge prole

    April 7, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    • Jorge?

      Curle

      April 7, 2017 at 9:46 pm

  33. The homeless men loitering all day outside my town’s homeless shelter are always staring at their smartphones when I drive by. The shelter must have Wi-Fi.

    If you can afford homelessness and foodstamps, you can afford a smartphone. Ergo, smartphones cannot possibly signal status.

    hard9bf

    April 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm

  34. I don’t know how it is in America but in some countries kids already get smartphones when they are very young and it just became a default thing to have. People don’t care so much about what type of phone it is anymore, the same way you don’t care about whether someone drives Toyota or Nissan. What people care about is whether you drive a luxury car or not, but the phones, even the best ones are so cheap that most middle class people can afford the top end if they wish.

    Hashed

    April 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm

  35. Phones don’t signal class except perhaps among the lowest of classes.

    CamelCaseRob

    April 7, 2017 at 9:59 pm

  36. So did Trump betray his base then? Just one week ago:
    Trump trades ‘unsecure’ Android device for shiny new iPhone

    First this and now Syria, damn!

    I don’t even know which of the two is a worse betrayal…

    guest

    April 8, 2017 at 6:46 am

  37. The TOOS use iPhones that are are slightly out of date. For example, the 6s rather than the 7. Their desire is for a good, reliable product, rather than a potentially better product that is riskier. Patina is preferable compared to the newest gadget.

    On the other hand, there are ivy league / UC kids who use androids due to thirft/customization options. There are definite openings for the android phone producers to secure an upscale niche for themselves. However, the exploding android news story from last year will make it harder to dethrone the iPhones.

    Anonymous Bro

    April 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm

  38. Mobile phones are low class. If you must have one for emergencies then keep a simple flip phone well hidden. Better yet don’t keep any technology at your house, this includes Internet and cable. Get your information from books and a subscription to a good newspaper. Relax by listening to quality music on NPR. I can take one of two trains into the Manhattan everyday, One train stops at middle class and new money towns and the other train stops at old Money towns originating in Stamford. The passengers picked by the middle class trains all have backpacks and are glued to their iPhones whereas the old money trains the majority of the passengers are reading books (real books not ebooks) that they keep in leather satchels or briefcases.

    talbob

    April 18, 2017 at 12:41 am

    • Are you sure it’s just not an age thing?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 18, 2017 at 5:22 am

      • The people I see are early 40’s up to 70’s. Could be.

        talbob

        April 18, 2017 at 7:25 am

    • People only buy physical books if they’re old or if they’re buying as a souvenier/decoration (eg beloved Harry Potter or other books to display)

      Pretty sure Zuckerburg wouldn’t “keep his tech at home”

      onepercgrl

      April 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm

  39. And what does carrying a BlackBerry indicate?

    Justin Megawarne

    April 27, 2017 at 5:22 am


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