Hispanics to Spend $500 Million on Mobile Apps in 2012

APRIL 30, 2012 e-marketers.com

Hispanics are early technology adopters, with high spending expected on devices and content

Hispanics are early adopters of both tablets and smartphones, and also more likely than whites to go online using mobile devices. All of that activity will add up to a sizeable pile of cash for device retailers and app stores in 2012. According to December 2011 research by advisory firm Zpryme, adult US Hispanics will spend $17.6 billion on mobile tech devices in 2012, a 30% increase over the previous year. It also estimates that Hispanics will spend $501.1 million on mobile apps by the end of the year.

Smartphone penetration was 51.5% among the survey group, which was comprised almost entirely of mobile owners (just 6.1% said they had no mobile phone). This is slightly higher than eMarketer’s estimated 46.9% smartphone penetration for Hispanic mobile users as of the end of 2011. Also, 19% of those polled owned tablets, higher than eMarketer’s estimate of 12.6% for the same period. The high adoption rates for smartphones and tablets among Hispanics are likely due to the fact that they are on average a young group, and more likely to use mobile devices instead of landlines.

Smartphones were at the top of the list of new mobile devices respondents said they planned to buy over the next six months, at 24%. Another 18% said they planned to purchase a tablet. Top activities performed on a tablet included gaming, search and email. Games were also the leading category of mobile app purchased by Hispanics; according to the poll, nearly half of respondents had bought a mobile gaming app.

Social networking, the fourth leading tablet activity among Hispanics, was the No. 2 online activity overall for the group, and Facebook was the favorite destination.

Twitter was a distant second at 29%, followed by Myspace at 23%. Hispanics are more active on social media than US internet users overall, suggesting there is plenty of potential for marketers to target them on social networks.