A few decades ago, someone took a common turn of phrase and changed it to “You are what you drive,” implying that your car said more about you than perhaps the food you eat. Today, one could as easily say that about your mobile device. Sure enough, demographic study and personality profiles have been done across the tablet spectrum, which begs the question: what does owning an iPad say about you? It may not be what you think.
Let’s start with the numbers. Tablet purchases have skyrocketed over the past few years, going from 9% of the US population in 2010 to a projected 130 million people in 2014. So a general user today is going to be quite different than before. That said, there are more types of tablets today than previously, with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google all getting in on the trend, and there still exists a buyer persona who prefers Apple to these newer products.
According to several studies, iPad users tend to be wealthier than average, despite the less expensive price tags for the iPad 2 and the iPad Mini. In fact, Forbes states they are twice as likely to fall in a higher income bracket. It goes on to state that: “They’re 16% more likely to be a registered Republican (and 50% more likely to be a political donor), 65% more likely to have a Graduate degree, 65% more likely to go to the movies regularly, and 24% more likely to drive an SUV.” It even goes on to say that the average iPad user is 30% more likely to be taller.
While iPad users may be wealthier, they have gotten older. In 2011, 27% of users were between 25-34; today, 27% are in the 35-44 demographic, while 25-34 owners dropped to about 20%. And while iPad owners are 7% more likely to be men (again according to Forbes), app sales favor women by a 4 to 3 ratio in the top 10 app sales, and a 3:1 ratio in the top 5.
So, what does an iPad say about your personality? Tablet owners as a whole clearly see themselves at the vanguard of technology, and even have a bit of an ego about it. They tend to be better educated, and for that reason, according to a study by Wakefield Research [http://www.nextissue.com/2013/06/27/tablet-owners-are-smarter-than-everyone-else/]
69% of tablet owners think they know more about current events than their friends, compared to 47% of non-tablet owners. And indeed, tablet owners are certainly reading a ton – ebook sales have continued to climb over the last 3 years, and now represent a quarter of all book sales.
Does that mean that being smarter makes iPad owners more likely to be, well, arrogant? According to one extremely unscientific study, the answer is yes. Actually, it’s even worse.
From the Guardian:
MyType, a Facebook application which enables users to answer quizzes to determine their personality type, surveyed 20,000 people to try to determine what kind of people owned an iPad.
The answer, it turns out, is pretty straightforward. Horrible people.
“iPad owners are an elite bunch,” said MyType on its website. “They’re wealthy, highly educated and sophisticated. They value power and achievement much more than others. They’re also selfish, scoring low on measures of kindness and altruism.”
Let’s focus on the lack of accuracy of that poll, rather than the implications; it was disregarded by John Grohol, founder of the Psych Central psychology website, who responded by writing a blog post stating that the surveyors did not “know the first thing about reporting statistics, or basic methodology in its own research”. Besides, you’re probably smarter, richer, and better looking than the people who did the study anyway.