Ethnic and racial minorities in US more likely to own smartphones: report

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The Independent Tech

Asians and Hispanics were the most likely smartphone owners among mobile phone users in the US in December 2010.

Nearly one third of mobile consumers in the US own a smartphone, but a study conducted by market researcher Nielsen shows that penetration is even higher amongst mobile users who are part of ethnic and racial minorities.

Forty-five percent of Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander mobile users and 33 percent of African-American mobile users own a smartphone.

Comparatively, only 27 percent of White mobile users said they owned a mobile phone with an app-based, web-enabled operating system.

The percentage of ethnic and racial minorities purchasing a new smartphone in the last six months was also higher.

"Although only 42 percent of Whites who purchased a mobile phone in the past six months chose a smartphone over a feature phone, 60 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders, 56 percent of Hispanics, and 44 of African Americans who recently bought cellphones chose smartphones," said Nielsen in a report released on February 1.

When it comes to choosing mobile operating systems, Apple's iOS is the mobile platform of choice for Asians/Pacific Islanders while African Americans prefer to own smartphones running Research in Motion's Blackberry platform.