Feature phone

Nielsen: In the U.S., white men carry the dumbest phones

May 7, 2012: 11:00 AM ET

Among ethnic groups, Asian Americans are the most likely to pack a smartphone

Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- The move from so-called feature phones to smartphones continues apace.

As of March 2012, 50.4% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8% in December 2011, according to a Nielsen survey released Monday. Google's (GOOG) Android was the most popular smartphone operating system (48.5%), while Apple (AAPL) was the No. 1 manufacturer (32%).

No surprises there.

It's when the data are broken down by sex and ethnicity that things get interesting. According to Nielsen:

  • 67.3% of Asian Americans use a smartphone as their primary mobile handset, more than any other ethnic group.
  • Almost three out of five Hispanic mobile subscribers use smartphones
  • 54.4% African-Americans own smartphones
  • More than half (50.9%) of female mobile subscribers carry smartphones, compared with 50.1% for men.
  • More than two out of three 25-34 year olds use smartphones.

Which leaves, I guess, older white men carrying around the bulk of the remaining dumb phones.

For more on the survey, click here.

  • Virgin's unlimited data phone plan: only $25/month

    Virgin has done it again. They are offering up a better Android smartphone and keeping the same incredibly low rates.

    How much is your typical feature phone plan?  At Verizon(VZ), 450 minutes is $40/month with an additional charge for texts and no data.  Pre-paid plans start at $65/month for 450 minutes.  AT&T (T) has a similar post paid plan: $40 for 450 minutes.  No text, no data.

    Smartphone plans are obviously more expensive. MORE

    - Feb 4, 2011 10:54 AM ET
  • Meet the first $100 Android phone

    Vodafone is selling its '845' Android phone for £70 ($108) with £10 top up included on a Pay-as-you-go plan.

    It looks like we are entering into the age of the $100 Android smartphone. I talked a little bit about what this would mean for consumer adoption of smartphones  last week. In short, many more people will be moving from featurephone to smartphone and carriers get to compete for tight budget handset buyers.

    The MORE

    - Dec 31, 2010 1:10 AM ET
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