5 Ways to Get Into the Mobile Phone Business without Selling Phones

Hand holding a mobile, cell phone, smart phone
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Startup businesses related to mobile phones, and the various technologies used on these devices, is because the market is growing at a fast pace. According to Pew Research, 96% of American internet users own a cellphone (81% of those are smartphones), and 37% of Americans are now accessing the internet via smartphone only.

The boom in mobile phone usage continues to expand around the globe covering all income spectrums. A mobile phone is no longer an expensive business luxury or status symbol, but a necessity for many.

Both big and small companies from all industries and markets are jockeying for a share of a large and ever-growing mobile pie. There are a large amount of cell phone suppliers already, so the barrier to entry in the supplier and retailer market is high. You could consider a business in mobile marketing, apps, accessories or services.

Mobile Marketing

With more than 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, the potential to create a marketing business in this space is huge. Spending on mobile ads is only a small fraction of the market, with the growth of SMS marketing and other mobile advertising tactics.

According to Pew Research, mobile advertising revenue more than tripled between 2014 and 2018 (a 374% increase). For the same period, desktop marketing revenue only increased by approximately 5%.

Mobile Phone Apps

Third-party applications ranging from business productivity to game downloads offer a viable business opportunity. The average smartphone users spend almost three hours a day using apps. If you have the knowledge and abilities to create apps and launch an app development business, you can reach a large consumer base.

Mobile Web Design

Some websites are mobile-friendly, but many are not. The challenge of fitting web pages on tiny screens for multiple devices with easy navigation is a market need that's rapidly expanding. Mobile websites are decreasing in use when compared to mobile apps. However, this is generally due to media consumption such as music and movies.

This opportunity would entail redesigning existing websites or adding mobile views to the standard view for ease of viewing on mobile devices as well as other devices. If you are proficient in web design, this might be an option for you.

Location-Based Mobile Advertising

GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) systems on mobile phones provide a host of new business opportunities. A retailer can, with permission from the user, target a user with services and sales opportunities based on the location of the customer.

For example, if you're walking past a department store you could get an alert that an item you've shown interest in is available on sale. This works through targeted marketing, consumer data collection, and consumer tracking.

You'll need to be adept with data collection, and building mobile applications or be able to employ people that are knowledgeable in this area.

Mobile Accessories

From fashion-conscious teens to savvy soccer moms, the need to customize, personalize and customize your cell phone is a strong market. Smartphones Experts, a network of mobile phone e-commerce stores, grew from under $500,000 in revenue to over $16 million in 3 years. If you've got some great ideas for accessories for phones, there is room for much more. 

More Opportunities

If you can think of it, it can be done on or with a mobile device. Your imagination is the only limiting factor in starting a business using mobile technology.

Edited by Alyssa Gregory