Maybe the Rich are Like You and Me (AAPL, GOOG, RIMM)

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Wealthier smartphone owners are a lot like the rest of us, at least when it comes to apps downloaded to their smartphones. The wealthy’s favorite app is Facebook, followed closely by Angry Birds and Words with Friends, according to a report from Luxury Institute.

In a survey of Americans who earn more than $150,000 annually, 62% said they owned a smartphone, with 45% owning an iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), 35% owning a phone using the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), and 25% owning a Blackberry from Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM). About 80% of wealthy smartphone owners have downloaded an app for their phones, with the average being 15 apps. However wealthy owners only used five apps regularly.

The most popular categories for downloaded apps are weather (63%), news (51%), travel (42%), business/finance (39%) and sports (34%).

Interestingly, 67% of wealthy smartphone owners use their phones for shopping, and some 25% spent more than $1,000 on mobile purchases in 2011. More than half — 51% — of those who do not shop on their smartphones say they prefer instead to make the trek to the store.

The CEO of Luxury Institute observed:

Smart luxury firms recognize the potential of their mobile presence to boost sales and get closer to their customers. Customers clearly view smartphones as part of the new shopping experience.

The Luxury Institute’s press release is here.

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