Purchasing a cell phone isn't as easy as purchasing any other standalone piece of technology, largely because when buying a cell phone, you aren't purchasing a standalone piece of technology. Virtually all mobile phones come bound to a contract with a cell phone service provider, and indeed often times, the service provider is sought out first before one selects an actual model, and this is a fact of modern living that a great many have had no choice but to abide, however , there is another option: buy no contract cell phones.
The entire industry of cellular phone service is run by an oligopoly comprised of just a few companies - chief among them being Verizon and AT&T who are constantly vying against each other, quite savagely at times, for control of the market, leaving consumers distraught between them. Buying no contract cell phones however gives you leverage that no cell phone provider really wants you to have: the opportunity to choose.
Mobile phones in many cases are only available with service from a particular service provider, for example Apple's iPhone will only be available with service from AT&T. But what if AT&T doesn't give you the service and features that work best with you as a consumer? Like every piece of hardware, a cellular phone is not any good if the service for which is exists is of no use, so choosing the best service provider is the most important decision in purchasing a new mobile phone.
Each company features a different range of coverage, which your simple geographic location could easily decide for you if one service provides coverage there while the others do not. However, because most service providers have a very wide range of coverage now, the other features - price range, unlimited texting or calling minutes, internet, etc - end up being the primary focus.
However, once deciding on a service provider, consumers often find they have only the options allowed to them as far as which model of actual phone to purchase.
The advantage of no contract cell phones is that you can buy an unlocked cell phone of any kind you wish, and subscribe to the contract of your choosing. This process is a bit more difficult, in that both steps have to be done separately: first choosing and purchasing the cellphone that best suits you, and then again choosing and signing up for the service that best suits the needs of you and your phone.
There is the extra benefit of being able to cancel on a contract at the soonest point of convenience - if the need arises that is - and you'll be no worse off than you had been after initially purchasing your cell phone with no contract. All that needs to be done is to simply get a new service provider and you can continue using the phone that you're used to with the advantages of your newly chosen service provider.