The arrival of the mobile phone and its rapid and widespread growth may well be seen as one of the most significant developments in the fields of communication and information technology over the past two decades. The aim of this study is to propose a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) approach to evaluate the mobile phone options in respect to the users' preferences order. Firstly, the most desirable features influencing the choice of a mobile phone are identified. This is realized through a survey conducted among the target group, the experiences of the telecommunication sector experts and the studies in the literature. Two MCDM methods are then used in the evaluation procedure. More precisely, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is applied to determine the relative weights of evaluation criteria and the extension of the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) is applied to rank the mobile phone alternatives. A case study illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed approach. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.