Mobile Market Structure


Mobile phones, often referred to as cell phones, have become a part of everyday life. A growing number of people are using their cell phones for their primary lines instead of a traditional land line. The structure of this market has multiple components.

Major Companies

  • The mobile service market is largely dominated by a few companies. These are Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile and Sprint. As of 2010, AT&T and Verizon together served about 60 percent of mobile customers. The remaining 40 percent were mostly serviced by T-Mobile and Sprint.

Smartphones and Operating Systems.

  • As of 2010, smartphones were a growing trend in the mobile market. These are phones that function as phones and computers, complete with applications. The major smartphone platforms, as of this writing, were Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Apple's iPhone runs iOS exclusively, while Android ran on a number of third-party smartphones.

Prepaid vs Contracts

  • Many carriers offer both contractual and pre-paid plans for their regular and smartphone service. The prepaid plans are more expensive than signing a contract, but users don't need to commit to a given time period and don't have to pay deposits if they have poor credit ratings.

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  • Photo Credit Cell phone image by Elzbieta Sekowska from
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