Minorities Lead In Smartphone Purchases


A recent Nielsen report showed that as of March 2012, the number of U.S. cell phone subscribers that owned smartphones increased from 47.8% to 50.4% since last December.

The fact that about half of mobile subscribers own smartphones these days isn’t much of a surprise. You can’t walk a block without seeing about 4-5 people swiping and pinching away on their smartphones.

What’s really interesting about this report is that the majority of mobile subscribers are minorities: 67.3% Asian, 57.3% Hispanic, and 54.4% Black. Over half of whites are still holding onto their feature phones. Minorities appear to be embracing the smartphone tech more than Caucasians for some reason.

Another Nielsen report also showed that Blacks are power users when it comes to smartphones. A large number use them for activities such as research (e.g., product reviews), text messaging, surfing the web, and emailing.

I guess this is one reason people say the social divide is decreasing. Blacks are buying more technology but it’s mostly for communication, entertainment, and consuming information. Hopefully, someday, more Blacks will be creating the technology that people want to buy instead of just consuming it.

U.S. Smartphone Use by Ethnicity
Source: Nielsen

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