Have you ever met a billionaire? I have met a few and in somewhat casual circumstances. No I am not ‘good buddies’ with any of them nor will I ever be. I’m here to let you know that the billionaires I’ve met all have been very nice (why shouldn’t they be? – They’re billionaires!) and thoughtful people.
At the other end of the socio-economic spectrum I do know a good many more people who are living less than what is considered lower middle-class economic lives. In other words, by economists’ standards they are ‘poor’. I am friendly with lots of these people whom I get together with in varying degrees of frequency.
The two ‘groups’ – that is billionaires and those that live above and below the poverty line (which in the United States in 2014 was $23,850 for an individual), do have something in common. Their smartphones.
Earlier this year an article reported that 75% of Americans who had mobile devices had smartphones. That number was projected to approach 85% by the end of 2015. So think about the fact that American billionaires AND the least prosperous Americans all use the same iPhone or Android phone, (Or Blackberry, which may or may not have the right to be called a smartphone).
So why is there not a luxury/high performance smartphone experience that can be purchased from Apple, Samsung, or any other manufacturer? I don’t mean studding your phone case with beads, wood, diamonds, or any other precious gems. It’s what’s on the inside that counts and smartphone manufacturers surely could create a high-end exclusive model and sell it for an exorbitant price. People would buy it. And not only billionaires would buy. In recent years China‘s young entry-level workers have found ways to set aside months of salary or more just to purchase an authentic iPhone.
For now smartphone utility is the same independent of economic status. The same apps area available to all, the same functionality, as well as the same frustrations when one’s smartphone performance begins to degrade – and eventuality that (sadly) is also a universal smartphone customer experience.
As user daily mobile interaction continues to increase so will the habits and the similarities in behavior of billionaires and everyone else. After all we’re all staring for hours a day at our 4-inch screens. It’s never before been possible for the super-rich and the extremely poor to exhibit such similar daily behavior.
In an odd twist smartphone behavior brings us all closer together in some ways. Is that important? I think so.