Landline Phones Vs. Cell Phones

According to Statista, the number of homes with landline phones declined from 90 percent in 2004 to less than 60 percent in 2014. In contrast, homes with only cell phones rose to more than 40 percent in 2014. Despite this change, landline phones remain important to many consumers, according to News USA. Customers must take into account how and where they will use a phone, the functions they need and the cost of services.

Fixed vs Mobile Services

The fundamental difference between the two is that landlines are fixed and cell phones are mobile. Customers can only use landline phones in a single location where there is a wired connection to the telephone network. Cell phones are operational anywhere the user can get a signal from a wireless network. That includes the home. Cell phones can be taken anywhere there too, so the user isn't limited to speaking where the landline happens to be.


Cell phones enable users to remain in contact even if they're not at a fixed telephone access point. They also give users the flexibility to work productively from home. In addition to keeping in touch by voice, employees can also use email, data transfer and Internet access on mobile "smart" phones. Landlines only provide a voice function.


Most phone companies have calling plans that give users of either phone type a better idea of what they'll pay from month to month. The difference is in the cost of the actual devices. A landline in 2015 is a low-cost item that can sell for less than $10. While it's possible to find bargain cell phones at $10 or less, new cell phones, the trendy ones people flock toward, cost more than $500 in 2015. Cell phones, even if they're only being used at home, can also incur unexpected costs such as data overages.


Reliability can be an important factor in selecting a landline or a mobile, according to NewsUSA. The publication reports that cell phone consumers have concerns about 911 calls, particularly in homes where reception is poor. Consumers also feel that landlines are inherently more reliable. Unlike a cell phone, they don't need to be charged up on a regular basis, and the reception is consistent.


About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.