Exactly a year after I switched from pre to droid, I broke another cell phone contract. So there seem to be three fool-proof ways to get out of a cell phone contract in the US, despite all the hype about them involving signing away your firstborn.

  1. Switch to a different US cell phone company, and do it by going into a store and finding a hungry salesman in person, and making his sale contingent on him finding a way to break your old contract. What I did last year.
  2. Simply move to a part of the map that doesn't have cell phone coverage. (You will have seen these parts of the map from a plane.) It probably helps to have your cell phone drop off the edge of their map repeatedly for some months, presumably they can look this stuff up. Call up technical support, go thru some mild rigamarole as they try to configure your phone to magically see cell towers that have several mountains and/or the curvature of the Earth blocking line of site to you. Magic words: "please note on account: no cell service"
  3. Sell your contract on one of the existing cell contract exchanges, to someone who wants cell service with a shorter than usual contract. (Means giving up your number.) I haven't tried this one, maybe next time?

Unlike my Palm Pre which didn't survive being cut off the cell net, my Android phone is still fairly happy. While I'd really like to turn it into a proper Debian box, with X etc, I may just use it as a camera, web browsing (on wifi) and emergency 911 system. Pity though about the GPS stuff needing an internet connection when the phone has many gigabytes of free space that could hold a useful map.

(If you want to phone me now, the number is 1-423-IKIWIKI. I only receive voice mail, and your call data and transcript will be absorbed by the Google Borg.)