Mobility, race, gender, relationships

Posted July 26, 2010 at

In the U.S., Pew recently reported "African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos continue to be among the most active users of the mobile web. Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%) and minority cell phone owners take advantage of a much greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users. In total, 64% of African-Americans access the internet from a laptop or mobile phone, a seven-point increase from the 57% who did so at a similar point in 2009."

This year Pew asked for the first time and found about the following:

  • 54% have used their mobile device to send someone a photo or video
  • 23% have accessed a social networking site using their phone
  • 20% have used their phone to watch a video
  • 15% have posted a photo or video online
  • 11% have purchased a product using their phone
  • 11% have made a charitable donation by text message
  • 10% have used their mobile phone to access a status update service such as Twitter

In low and middle-income countries (hat tip MobieActive Mobile Minute – Daily m4Change News), a study on the mobile phone gender gap by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and the GSMA Development Fund, Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity, finds the 300 million fewer female than male subscribers equates to a US$13 Billion opportunity; from US$740 Million in Latin America to US$4 Billion in East Asia.

Because mobiles can help increase female literacy, they are also natural allies to development efforts.

Concerning India, NPR’s Michel Martin interviewed New York Times and the International Herald Tribune reporter Anand Giridharadas about the explosion of mobile technology occurring there. Giridharadas noted that, while it is likely that more "people in the world have access to a cell phone today than have access to a flush toilet around the world" (for more on that, see Current TV Vanguard correspondent Adam Yamaguchino’s series from India and Indonesia about the world’s toilet crisis) in India cell phones are disintermediating traditional power relationships and are transformative for folks at the bottom of the power pyramid.