If you want to save money on cell phone service and still get Iphone-like service, here’s an inexpensive option.
cell phone: Net10 service at $15 per month if you don't talk too much ($15 will get you 150 minutes per month under their $30/300 minutes/2 month plan).
Buy any old iPod touch. This will run your iPhone apps, the same as an iPhone but no voice calls. It will run on wifi. For instance, $150 for Refurbished iPod touch, 8GB (previous generation) at the Apple Store now!
Then buy a Virgin Mobile USB modem from Walmart (must buy from Walmart to get their special one month, 1Gb data plan) which will work on your laptop. It also works with a Cradlepoint portable wifi router.
Plug the Virgin Mobile USB modem in the Cradlepoint, and you get a wifi signal! $20 per month for 1Gb of data. You can use your laptop, ipod touch, an ipad, etc on the wifi router. It's portable and has a battery that lasts three hours.
Net10 cell phone $15
Virgin Mobile data 20
Total monthly only $35 per month!!!!
ipod touch $150
Net10 phone free, from Norb, or I can point you to the website
Cradlepoint router $65
Virgin USB modem 70
Total upfront equipment costs: $285
No early termination fees. Month to month, prepaid. Out of town for a month -- no problem. Just don't pay, and restart the service when you are back.
I am using the above, and have been extremely happy with the Virgin Mobile service. It is just about anywhere I have been.
Another option to the above is the Virgin Mobile Peel, which attaches to an iPod touch and provides a wifi signal to the iPod touch, thus transforming it into an iPhone. Add voice capabilities with a Skype application.
You can also buy a Blackberry from Walmart for $99 and get unlimited data and voice from Virgin Mobile for $35 per month.