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Mobile Phones and the Multicultural Consumer - US - February 2010

The purchasing power of minority demographics has grown significantly faster than the White demographic for more than a decade, a trend that is expected to continue for at least the next five years. Multicultural messaging has become an essential component of marketing strategy for wireless carriers that wish to target the increasingly diverse generations of power users.

In this report, Mintel takes a look at attitudes of multicultural consumers toward mobile phone technology and what they might be willing to spend on.

Analysis and insights offered include:

  • What specific factors drive the purchasing decisions of multicultural cell phone users
  • What kinds of services or strategies might be more effective with specific demographics
  • What makes certain carriers more popular with minorities
  • How marketers are targeting minorities in TV advertising
  • How spending on phone bills varies by race/Hispanic origin
  • Which racial/Hispanic origin demographics use cell phone features beyond voice and texting
  • Which factors are more important to the various consumer groups when selecting a phone and a carrier
  • How Spanish-dominant Hispanics differ from English-dominant

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Growth of minority spending power outpaces Whites
                      • Lower incomes and poor credit history drive no-contract and prepaid plans
                        • International calling is a strong driver for less acculturated segments
                          • Black respondents more passionate about mobile technology
                            • Black and Hispanic respondents spend more on monthly wireless bills
                              • Black and Asian respondents keen on advanced phones and mobile internet
                                • T-Mobile finds greater share among Spanish-dominant Hispanics
                                  • Spanish-language households are more price sensitive and less satisfied
                                    • African-American advertising is both aspirational and inspirational
                                      • Spanish-language advertising ranges from relatable to romantic
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • Sub-segmentation of racial and ethnic groups improves marketing impact
                                          • African Americans
                                            • Asian Americans
                                              • Hispanics
                                                • Black and Hispanic females
                                                • Inspire Insights

                                                    • Trend: Who are the Joneses?
                                                      • What’s it about?
                                                        • What we’ve seen
                                                          • Specifics
                                                            • Implications
                                                              • Trend: No more mainstream
                                                                • What’s it about?
                                                                  • What we've seen
                                                                    • Specifics
                                                                      • Implications
                                                                      • Background Factors

                                                                        • Minority purchasing power is growing faster
                                                                          • African Americans
                                                                            • Asian Americans
                                                                              • Hispanics
                                                                                  • Figure 1: Buying power, by race/Hispanic origin, 2000-14
                                                                                • Younger adult generations more ethnically diverse
                                                                                  • Figure 2: U.S. population age groups, by race/Hispanic origin, 2004-14
                                                                                • Hispanics and Asians more likely to live in larger households
                                                                                  • Figure 3: Average household size, by Hispanic origin/race of householder, 2001 and 2008
                                                                              • Multicultural Drivers

                                                                                • Prepaid and no-contract strategies target Blacks and Hispanics
                                                                                  • International calling is a strong consideration for Hispanics and Asians
                                                                                    • Prepaid calling cards
                                                                                      • International calling through the carrier
                                                                                        • Internet-based services
                                                                                          • Figure 4: International calling on a cell phone, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                        • Multicultural differences go beyond age correlations
                                                                                          • White respondents more likely to remain with current provider
                                                                                            • Black and Asian respondents more likely to embrace advanced mobile services
                                                                                              • Black respondents integrate cell phone in their lives to a greater degree
                                                                                                • Figure 5: General attitudes toward cell phones, by age and race/Hispanic origin, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                            • Cell Phone Ownership

                                                                                              • Racial/Hispanic origin differences driven by household income and culture
                                                                                                • Figure 6: Cell phone ownership and types of service plans, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                              • Prepaid and no-contract plans more popular among Blacks and Hispanics regardless of income
                                                                                                • Figure 7: Cell phone ownership and types of service plans, by race/Hispanic origin and household income, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                • Figure 8: Cell phone ownership and types of service plans, by race/Hispanic origin and household income, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                            • Wireless Carrier Brands

                                                                                              • Carrier rankings reflect importance of no-contract and targeted marketing for multicultural respondents
                                                                                                  • Figure 9: Popularity of wireless carriers, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                              • Cell Phone Spending and Loyalty

                                                                                                • Black and Hispanic respondents show higher willingness to spend but lower carrier loyalty
                                                                                                  • Figure 10: Average cell phone spending and time with carrier, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                              • Advanced Cell Phone Features

                                                                                                • Blacks and Asians more likely to use advanced features
                                                                                                  • Asians and Hispanics look for ways to call internationally
                                                                                                    • Figure 11: Usage of advanced cell phone features, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Higher usage by Black respondents seen among older respondents as well
                                                                                                    • Figure 12: Usage of advanced cell phone features, by race/Hispanic origin and age, November-December 2009
                                                                                                • Mobile Internet Browsing

                                                                                                  • Asian respondents may be earlier adopters of newer features
                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Uses of the internet via cell phone, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Black and Hispanic respondents are more willing to pay for mobile internet
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Attitudes toward internet browsing via cell phone, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Minority women more likely to check email and compare prices with their phones
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Attitudes toward internet browsing via cell phone, by race/Hispanic origin and gender, November-December 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Uses of the internet via cell phone, by race/Hispanic origin and gender, November-December 2009
                                                                                                • Attitudes Toward Cell Phones

                                                                                                  • Black and Asian respondents more likely to want bigger screens
                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Attitudes toward cell phones, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Black and Asian respondents more likely to cite advanced handset functions as important
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Importance of cell phone characteristics, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                • Attitudes Toward Wireless Carriers

                                                                                                  • Black and Asian respondents are more willing to switch for the right phone
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Attitudes toward wireless carriers, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Black and Asian respondents more concerned with internet speed
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Importance of wireless carrier characteristics, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                • Spanish-language Households

                                                                                                  • Spanish-leaning respondents less likely to own cell phones and contract plans
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Cell phone ownership and types of service plans among Hispanics, by language spoken in the home, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                  • T-Mobile leads among Spanish-leaning Hispanics
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Cell phone ownership and types of service plans among Hispanics, by language spoken in the home, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                  • International calling with prepaid card is critical feature for Spanish-speaking respondents
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Usage of advanced cell phone features, by language spoken in the home, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Spanish-only respondents get worst reception at home
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Attitudes toward wireless carriers, by language spoken in the home, November-December 2009
                                                                                                  • Spanish-only respondents are least likely to be happy with their phone
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Attitudes toward cell phones, by language spoken in the home, November-December 2009
                                                                                                • Hispanic Television Advertising

                                                                                                  • T-Mobile leads among Spanish-dominant Hispanics despite lower advertising spending
                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Advertising expenditure of major wireless carriers in Hispanic media, 2008
                                                                                                  • T-Mobile’s leading share comes from relatable marketing
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: T-Mobile: Hispanic Employee Comes Home (Spanish language), July 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 28: T-Mobile: Preparing for Dubai (Spanish language), March 2009
                                                                                                  • Sprint ads target different Hispanic segments with primary service and Boost prepaid
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Sprint—Three Smartphones (Spanish language), November 2009
                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Boost Mobile—No Abuse (Spanish language), August 2009
                                                                                                    • U.S. Cellular runs inspiration ads in Spanish
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: U.S. Cellular—Texting in the City (Spanish language), October 2009
                                                                                                  • African-American Television Advertising

                                                                                                    • Black consumers targeted with music and aspirational messaging
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Boost Mobile—Where You At, November 2007
                                                                                                    • Minority spokespersons carry both broad and specific appeal
                                                                                                    • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                        • Stickers
                                                                                                          • Who they are
                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                              • Discontents
                                                                                                                • Who they are
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Shoppers
                                                                                                                      • Who they are
                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                          • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Multicultural mobile phones clusters, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Attitudes towards cell phone services, by multicultural mobile phones clusters, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Attitudes towards cell phones, by multicultural mobile phones clusters, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Importance of wireless carrier characteristics, by multicultural mobile phones clusters, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Importance of cell phone characteristics, by multicultural mobile phones clusters, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                          • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Multicultural mobile phones clusters, by gender, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Multicultural mobile phones clusters, by age, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Multicultural mobile phones clusters, by household income, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Multicultural mobile phones clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                          • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                          • U.S. Multicultural Population

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • U.S. population by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Population, by race/Hispanic origin, 1970-2020
                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Asian, Black, and Hispanic populations, 1970-2020
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2004-14
                                                                                                                              • U.S. population by age and race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Total U.S. population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                                                              • Hispanic population by age
                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: U.S. Hispanic population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                                                              • Black population by age
                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: U.S., Black population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                                                              • Asian population by age
                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: U.S. Asian population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                                                              • Geographic distribution
                                                                                                                                • Hispanic geographic concentration
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Graph: Hispanic population, by region, 2007
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Hispanic population in top five states, by country of origin, 2006
                                                                                                                                • States with greatest Hispanic population growth
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Hispanic population, states with greatest percentage increase, 2000-06
                                                                                                                                • African American geographic concentration
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Black geographic concentration, by region, 2007
                                                                                                                                • Black population by state
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: States with largest Black population, 2008
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: States with the highest share of Black residents, 2008
                                                                                                                                • Asian geographic concentration
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Asian geographic concentration, by region, 2008
                                                                                                                                • Asian population by state
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Top 10 states, by total Asian population and percentage of state total population, 2008
                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                • Mobile handset brands
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Cell phone brands, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                                                • Advanced cell phone features
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Lack of interest in advanced cell phone features, by race/Hispanic origin, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward wireless carriers
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Attitudes toward wireless carriers, by race/Hispanic origin and gender, November-December 2009
                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                • ALLTEL Corporation
                                                                                                                                • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                • Asian American Advertising Foundation
                                                                                                                                • Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies
                                                                                                                                • AT&T Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Boost Mobile, LLC
                                                                                                                                • Cingular Wireless LLC
                                                                                                                                • Citysearch
                                                                                                                                • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                • Deutsche Telekom AG
                                                                                                                                • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Fédération Internationale de Football Association
                                                                                                                                • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                • Internet Society International (ISOC)
                                                                                                                                • Kyocera International Inc.
                                                                                                                                • LG Electronics Inc (USA)
                                                                                                                                • Motorola Mobility Holdings
                                                                                                                                • National Association of Black Journalists
                                                                                                                                • National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA)
                                                                                                                                • Newspaper Association of America
                                                                                                                                • Nextel Communications Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Nike
                                                                                                                                • Nokia Corporation (US)
                                                                                                                                • Palm Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA]
                                                                                                                                • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                                • Samsung Electronics (USA)
                                                                                                                                • Sanyo North America Corporation
                                                                                                                                • Skype Technologies S.A.
                                                                                                                                • Sony Ericsson (USA)
                                                                                                                                • Sprint Nextel Corporation
                                                                                                                                • T-Mobile USA
                                                                                                                                • Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
                                                                                                                                • TracFone Wireless, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                                • Verizon Wireless (Cellco)
                                                                                                                                • Virgin Mobile Usa Llc
                                                                                                                                • Yelp Inc.

                                                                                                                                Mobile Phones and the Multicultural Consumer - US - February 2010

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