Latinos are also less likely--by more than 10 points--to own a desktop or a laptop computer than whites, making them less likely to have easy access to a computer and more likely to turn to a smartphone to go online. Only 72 percent of Latinos say they own a computer, compared to 83 percent of whites.
While he cautioned that it's "hard to tease out people's motivations," Smith said that more people list convenience as a reason for smartphone use than lack of access to a laptop or desktop, although access does play a role.
In addition, as the use of digital technology has increased, far fewer people use landline telephones than even just a few years ago.
The share of Hispanics who live in a cellphone-only home increased dramatically between 2004 and 2012. Only six percent of Hispanics fit into that category nine years ago, compared with 47 percent in 2012. Only 30 percent of whites lived in cellphone-only households in 2012.