According to the study's authors, Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica, these results were reached by looking at several different factors.
We measure cultural distance between two groups as the ability to infer an individual's group based on his or her (i) media consumption, (ii) consumer behaviour, (iii) time use, or (iv) social attitudes.
Knowing whether someone owns an iPad in 2016 allows us to guess correctly whether the person is in the top or bottom income quartile 69 percent of the time.
Across all years in our data, no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016.
If you happen to own an iPhone, it would then suggest that you are potentially in the top quartile of income for your particular household yet, as always with these papers, there are a few caveats.
There is no definition for which model of iPhone this study applies to. Sure, if you have a brand new iPhone X then that's a sign that you're probably rolling in it.
However, what if you are still preserving with an iPhone, whose battery last 10 minutes? What does that say about your income?
Perhaps the most interesting part of the study is the indicator of how association with the Apple symbol became a sign of status.
In 2004, purchasing a new car or owning your own computer were the biggest sign that you were wealthy, whereas in 1992 it was if you had a dishwasher, answering machine or enjoyed Grey Poupon Dijon mustard.
As someone who owns an iPhone, we can tell you that owning such a device definitely doesn't mean you're rich but this study says that if you do, then you're doing OK for yourself.