- Alternative form of cell phone.
A cellular phone is called a cellphone.
The Apple iPhone is an example of a cellphone.
(CELLular telePHONE) The first ubiquitous wireless telephone. Originally analog, all cellular systems today are digital, which has enabled the cellphone to turn into a handheld personal computer (see smartphone and cellphones vs. smartphones). A cellphone is also called a "mobile," "mobile phone," "handset" or "cell." Introduced in the mid-1980s, cellphone sales exploded worldwide in the 1990s. By 2008, with three billion units in use, the cellphone became an addiction for many people, who would never leave their house without it (see nomophobia). By 2012, there were more than 300 million cellphone subscriptions (including smartphones) in the U.S. Major Carriers In the U.S., the major cellular carriers are AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular), Verizon Wireless (formerly Bell Atlantic Mobile and Alltel), Sprint (merger of Sprint and Nextel) and T-Mobile. The largest cellular companies in the world are China Mobile and UK-based Vodafone. Cell Technology Geographic areas are divided into a number of slightly overlapping circular "cells." Each cell contains a base station, which is identifiable by its transmitting and receiving antenna located on a tower at the top of a hill or building. The base stations connect to the landline telephone system of the country and to the Internet. The multiple cells combined with low power transmitters allow the same frequencies to be reused with different conversations in different cells within the same city or locale. The primary digital cellphone technologies are TDMA, CDMA and GSM. See 3G, PCS, AMPS, GSM, TDMA, CDMA, WAP, feature phone, cellspace, cellular network extender, screaming cellphone and cordless phone.