In March 2012, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8% in December 2011, according to new data from the Nielsen research group ( Consumers purchasing new phones picked smartphones more often, and among smartphone owners Apple was the top manufacturer of smartphone handsets, while Android was the top smartphone OS.

Who makes up this growing group of smartphone owners in the U.S.? According to Nielsen, as of Q1 2012:

° 50.9% of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1% for men.

° Looking at multiple smartphones are particularly popular among those ages 25 to 34: More than two out of three in this age group have a smartphone.

° Asian Americans lead smartphone adoption with 67.3% using a smartphone as their primary mobile handset.

° Almost three in five Hispanic mobile subscribers use smartphones, and a majority of African-Americans own smartphones.