America's Own Emerging Market
Amid a wave of indicators showing long-term weakness in the American middle class, this month’s Discontinuities looks at how continued decline at the lower end of the economy is bringing some segments of the US market more inline with those of the emerging middle classes of developing world.
“Underneath the stereotypical American tier of multi-device, high-speed households choc-a-bloc with the newest Apple devices, games consoles, flat-screens and fibre connections, is a growing layer of pragmatic technology users for whom utility is a higher priority than entertainment or convenience. For them, a mobile is a life tool, a means of staying both connected and afloat. If one factors in the possibility that US incomes could remain flat for the next decade, as just forecasted by a Wall Street Journal panel of economists, this layer will grow to be a more substantial part of the technology audience, looking much more like the lower middle classes in the BRIC economies than the more economically mobile top tier.”