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

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.