The cellphone industry has started to change because of a recent policy switch from T-Mobile. And as it does, a shopper will increasingly have to consider the total price of the wireless service plan as well as the price of the phone itself.

This is especially true if the smartphone under consideration can be perpetually updated with new apps. You might not really need to spend hundreds more on a new phone after a two-year contract expires and then chain yourself to a network for another two years beyond.

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”It’s a very flexible, very responsible medium and very impactful,” said Ron Cooper, chief executive of Clear Channel Outdoor, which has 450 digital billboards and plans to add 150 more this year. Big corporations that have used them include ABC, AT&T, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Mills, Ford and Verizon. “Consumers report seeing it, remembering the brand, remembering the advertisers.”

He and others in the industry say they have been careful to make the signs memorable but not distracting. They say the “television on a stick” label is an exaggeration.

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