|Cell Phones Sell Well|
|Topic||Supply and Demand/Equilibrium|
|Key Words||Consumers, Price, Quality, Cost|
There is a trend toward consumers disconnecting their home phones in favor of using their cell phones. In 1998, the number was tiny, but in 1999 two percent of cell phone users have no home phone. One company says that, of its new customers, 9 percent have no phone at home, up from 4 percent last year. Among those retaining a phone at home, about 12 percent of calls have shifted to cell phones. The 72 million wireless users in 1999 are expected to double in the next 4 years. By the year 2004, usage is predicted to be 554 billion minutes, up from 105 billion minutes in 1998.
The reasons are price and quality. The cost of cell phone usage is falling by about 30 percent a year. The price of using a cell phone is now similar to that of a home phone if voicemail and caller ID are included. Nowadays, the handsets are smaller and lighter. The coverage areas are wider. Batteries last longer. Computers can be plugged into some phones. Many customers find it easier to have a number that travels with them all the time, rather than several numbers, some of which are fixed in location.
(Updated October 1, 1999)
|Source||Steve Rosenbush, "More using cell instead of home phones," USA Today, July 28, 1999.|
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