Nielsen: Who’s still using dumbphones?

The smartphone revolution is definitely here, but it’s leaving some users behind. According to a Monday report from Nielsen that asked whether users were carrying smartphones or feature phones, minorities are more likely to adopt smartphones than whites, and women are slightly more likely to carry a smartphone than men.

Asian-Americans far outstrip other ethnic categories when it comes to smartphone adoption, with 67.3 percent reporting that they own a smartphone, as compared to 44.7 percent of whites. Hispanics were next, with 57.3 percent saying they owned a smartphone; 54.4 percent of African-Americans said that they had taken the plunge.

The differences aren’t just by race, of course: more than two of every three participants between the ages of 25 and 34 said that they had a smartphone.

In sum, older, white men appear to be holding on to their feature phones more than any other demographic in the country.

Android still held the crown in the marketshare wars, with 48.5 percent of users saying their phones ran some version of Google’s OS. Apple users made up 32 percent of the crowd, followed by BlackBerry at 11.6 percent, Window Mobile at 4 percent, Windows Phone with 1.7 percent and “Other” at 2.1 percent.

An earlier report from Nielsen found that 49.7 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers owned a smartphone in February 2012 — a 38 percent increase over the previous year.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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