By JAMES W. MELBOURNE, AP WriterThe cost of owning a cell phone could soon be a lot cheaper.
Cell phone batteries have been shrinking in price over the last few years, so it may be time to get a new phone, experts say.
The price of new smartphones has dropped significantly in recent years, and consumers may have more options now to purchase a phone than they did a few years ago.
The Federal Communications Commission plans to introduce rules this year that will give consumers a broader choice of phones to choose from.
The agency also plans to increase the number of smartphones available to consumers.
The rules are expected to be finalized by the end of this year.
But for now, most consumers are choosing to buy older models from retailers such as Walgreens and Target.
That means they have to pay a higher price to get the newer model.
That’s because they can’t get a brand-new phone from one of those retailers.
But the FCC rules allow for new models to be imported from abroad, and manufacturers will be allowed to make those phones with the newer technology.
“This will allow the consumer to make a choice between a brand new phone and an older model at a much cheaper price,” said John R. Odom, a senior policy analyst at the consumer advocacy group Consumers Union.
Some manufacturers have been making phones that are more affordable by selling them as a phone with a “lower cost premium,” a lower-cost brand-name phone.
The FCC has been looking to give manufacturers a new way to bring in new cell phones at a cheaper price, and to encourage manufacturers to manufacture phones that offer the best possible experience to consumers, said Michael Nathanson, senior policy director at Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy organization.
For now, manufacturers will have to do it through importation.
That could allow manufacturers to import a new smartphone at a lower price, or the FCC will allow them to do that.
Nathanson said the FCC’s rules would allow the agency to take a tougher stance on importing cell phones that aren’t brand-names, which means they could be cheaper to make.
But consumers could have a lot of choices.
“I think this is really a big deal,” Nathanson said.
He said the rules would help protect consumers from a potential backlash from certain manufacturers if they began to manufacture devices that don’t conform to the FCC regulations.
“If you start to make cell phones with lower quality, you are going to have a backlash,” Nathson said.
“You are going on the attack against the consumers.”
The rules are being pushed by the Consumer Electronics Association, a trade group that represents most of the cell phone companies.
The group argues that the rules allow companies to sell phones with more affordable, high-quality components and lower prices to help them compete with cheaper, more powerful competitors.
The Consumer Electronics Federation said that the new rules will allow companies that make cell phone components to export the technology to foreign markets.
They also said that new products will need to be built overseas to meet the FCC standards.
“There will be more options for consumers, more choices for people,” said Mark Thompson, president of the consumer group.
The rules will go into effect for the first time in 2020, and the FCC expects to begin issuing rules for more new phones this year, he said.