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iPhone gaining ground with lower-income fans

The iPhone might have been one of the most expensive--and therefore trendiest--smartphones of 2007, but this year more parts of the economic spectrum are getting in on the action.

More people with modest incomes are placing calls for iPhones, according to Comscore. Apple

Apple and AT&T's decision to subsidize the price of the iPhone 3G is paying off with an increase in sales to lower-income folks.

Comscore released data earlier this week indicating that while most iPhone users are in the $100,000-a-year income bracket, those earning between $25,000 a year and $75,000 a year are the fastest-growing segment of new iPhone customers. iPhone adoption among those making $25,000 to $50,000 a year has grown 48 percent since June, according to the report.

"Fastest-growing" is always one of my favorite research terms because it usually implies "smallest." Comscore says 43 percent of iPhone owners make more than $100,000 a year, but thinks those Joe-Hockey-Sixpack-Moms out there are starting to realize they can get away with just an iPhone and pare down the multiple devices they used to use for making calls, listening to music, or playing games.

The fact that they only have to spend $199 to acquire an iPhone these days--monthly fees aside--probably helps. There's no guarantee that iPhone sales maintain their torrid pace as the way this economy is going, but last quarter, at least, people who might be struggling found the money for iPhones.