Hispanics & Mobile Phones

Jun 4, 2013

Hispanics & Mobile Phones

Jun 4, 2013

Hispanics & Mobile Phones
Young Hispanics are enthusiastic mobile users - and Insight Tr3s has done research to understand their relationship to their phones. Taken from “Hispanic 18-34s Living the 'Next Normal'” and the 2012 Maximo Report, here are the results of that analysis:

Smartphones top the list of what's cool now to Hispanics 18 to 39. The three coolest things to Hispanics 18 to 29 are smartphones, in-person socializing, and Starbuck. At the top of the “cool list” for Hispanics in their thirties are smartphones, GPS devices for their cars, and sports. Smartphones are cool to non-Hispanics 18 to 29 - but they rank third, after video games and in-person socializing.

Hispanics are configuring their cell phone plans in diverse ways. Young Hispanic adults living with their parents tend to share plans with people with similar “phone values” - which can include co-workers and cousins. Their moms may share a family plan with younger kids in the household, while Dad may have a phone with no contract. Young Hispanic adults who have kids and live in their own households often carry over family plans with other people into their new household.

When making wireless choices, finding a good plan is very important to Hispanics -- more than going with a particular provider or making a decision based on the selection of available phones. 40 percent of Hispanics 18 to 39 feel the plan is the most important factor when choosing wireless services.

Paying their own cell phone bills confers adulthood for young Hispanic adults still living at home. Many consider this their first “adult” financial responsibility.

Hispanic young adults are using mobile phones as their personal computers. Many of them live with their families -- so mobile devices offer more privacy than computers, which are often shared. About 1 in 5 use their phones most often to access the internet).

Hispanic adults are 70 percent more likely than white non-Hispanics to feel that apps are very important to their mobile experiences and to report watching videos “always” or “often” on their phones.

Texting is young Hispanic adults' preferred means of communication. However, they see face-to-face interaction as the most effective way to interact - and email as the least.

On the other hand, Pew Research Hispanic Center looked into mobile technology use among Spanish-dominant Latinos. Here are some of their findings:

  • Foreign-born Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos’ rates of going online and cellphone ownership increased sharply since 2009, helping to reduce the digital divide between Latinos and whites—and also reducing gaps within the Latino community itself.
  • Among Latino internet users, 72 percent are either English dominant (31 percent) or bilingual (41 percent), and 28 percent are Spanish dominant. By contrast, among Latino non-internet users, fewer than half (42 percent) are either English dominant (13 percent) or bilingual (29 percent), while 58 percent are Spanish dominant.
  • Cellphone ownership rates are lowest among Spanish-dominant Hispanics (78%), Hispanics with less than a high school diploma (77%) and Hispanics ages 65 and older (56%).
  • Among Latinos who do not own cellphones, 76 percent are foreign born and 24 percent are native born. In addition, nearly six-in-ten (57%) are Spanish dominant, 30 percent are bilingual and 13 percent are English dominant.
  • Among Latinos who use social networking sites, 60 percent say they do so mostly or only in English, 29 percent say they do so mostly or only in Spanish and 11 percent say they use both English and Spanish equally.
  • Among native-born Latinos who use social networking sites, 86 percent do so mostly or only in English. By contrast, among immigrant Latinos who use social networking sites, more than half (55%) do so mostly or only in Spanish.

Source: Published originally on Insight Tr3s as “Hispanic and Mobile Phones”; April 3, 2013, and Pew Research Hispanic Center as Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption, March 2013.

By Insight Tr3s and Pew Research Hispanic Center
Author - Administrative Assistant III