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updated 5/7/2012 1:50:30 PM ET 2012-05-07T17:50:30

The "digital divide" — the notion that Internet access varies by criteria such as ethnicity — is an old notion from the days of dial-up and DSL. Many studies have shown that the gap between ethnic groups disappears when wireless access comes into play. And a new study by Nielsen on smartphone ownership shows how far whites are actually behind other ethnic groups in America.

Based on its latest survey (from March), Nielsen estimated that about 45 percent of phone owners who self-identify as "white" have a smartphone. Though they have the next-lowest ownership rate, African Americans were still a full 10 percent ahead of whites. Latinos are slightly higher, at 57 percent. And in the Asian/Pacific Islander group, more than two-thirds of handsets are smartphones.

The gender gap is also an outdated concept when it comes to mobile access. Nielsen found that men and women are in a dead heat, with 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers and 50.1 percent of male mobile subscribers carrying smartphones.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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