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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Study Finds Many iPhone Users Are Tea Party Supporters (Really)

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 4:15 PM

click to enlarge Apple's iPhone: The preferred mobile device of semi-literate morons
  • Apple's iPhone: The preferred mobile device of semi-literate morons
We certainly wouldn't have seen this one coming. A poll released today by the tech policy group reveals that iPhone users -- whom we would have firmly placed in the same consumer class as those who sip lattes and munch arugula -- are twice as likely to be influenced by Tea Party ideology as other smartphone customers.

The poll, conducted by the respected Zogby group, found that one in five iPhone users are influenced by the Tea Party -- twice as many as users of the Android or BlackBerry. Subscribers to iPhones are also twice as likely to say Sarah Palin "speaks for them," and 60 percent predict a Republican takeover of Congress this year -- a 15 point margin above other smartphone users.

What could be going on here? Apple's market share can't account for the larger number of iPhone-toting teabaggers: The company has only 24 percent of the smartphone market, compared to 39 percent for BlackBerry and 17 percent for Android.

One might make the argument that Tea Party ideology appeals to the significant number of self-styled Libertarians in the tech sector. This could be the case. The fact remains that the Tea Party, as serious journalists don't tire of pointing out, has little in common with the small-government ethos of Ayn Rand or Milton Friedman, tracing its roots more directly to the clinically paranoid Christian Patriot and militia movements of the 1990s.

Another possible explanation is the efforts of GOP and Tea Party activists to establish their brands through social media. Whatever is at work here, keep a wary eye on that dude in front of you in line at Whole Foods, happily tweeting on his iPhone 4: There might be a tricorne in his man-purse.

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Peter Jamison


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