Affordable Smartphones are Becoming the New Trend Cell phones have become a necessary accessory for millions of Americans. According to industry group CTIA, an international nonprofit membership organization, there were more U.S. mobile phone subscriptions (322 million) than the number of Americans (314 million) last year. From those numbers, 41 percent were smartphones and 23 percent were prepaid customers. But many consumers find it difficult to secure cheap phones that have all the features they want. Companies like T-Mobile and Best Buy are trying to change that.