Irene Chen and Longlai Zuo, with the China-based company Quality Technology Industrial, show off their top-line phones, which cost about $100. Aarti Shahani/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Aarti Shahani/NPR

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Red Cross sent text messages across the country with health tips, locations of aid and safety reminders. A similar system is being used in Sierra Leone to combat Ebola. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies hide caption

itoggle caption International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

A Cambodian gambler talks on 18 cellphones at once at a boxing match in Phnom Penh in 2010. There are nearly 132 cellphones for every 100 Cambodians, but the country has also seen a surge in the number of landlines. Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images

An expert FAA advisory committee has recommended that airline passengers be allowed to use most personal electronic devices below 10,000 feet. Leonardo Patrizi/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Leonardo Patrizi/iStockphoto.com

Residents of the East Village in New York City look for cellphone reception Nov. 1 after Hurricane Sandy wiped out power and some cell towers. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images