Can you run an iPhone without an AT&T voice or data contract, and could a Verizon (or Sprint) MiFi be used instead (insert iPhone on Verizon! humor here). That's what TiPb reader Angie wants to know:

Can you use an iPhone with wifi? like I have Verizon MiFi and cannot afford the AT&T data cost for the iPhone.

TiPb answers after the break!

For those unfamiliar, MiFi is an EVDO modem and WiFi router all-in-one. So, you can use it to connect to Verizon or Sprint's 3G network, and share that connection with several WiFi enabled devices. For geeks, they're pretty much little pocket-sized miracles.

So, you could run all the basic iPhone internet functions by connecting to your MiFi over WiFi, including surfing the web, checking email, downloading music and video from iTunes, and of course getting and using App Store apps. About the only thing you wouldn't be able to use is the Phone and SMS/MMS. However, VoIP apps like Skype could mitigate the phone part -- our good friend Matt Miller from NokiaExperts.com has been Skype'ing away on his N900 via MiFi and enjoying it. Likewise, IM or faux-SMS apps, of which there are tons and tons in the App Store, could make messaging livable as well. WebApps like Google Voice if that's how you roll, can get around SMS as well.

It won't be perfect -- you'll have to set up your MiFi and wait for your iPhone to connect, and incoming calls would be a hassle since VoIP won't run in the background on a stock iPhone, but it's the closest anyone can come to an iPhone on Verizon, or iPhone on Sprint these days.

Now, if you Jailbreak your iPhone, then GV Mobile (Google Voice), Backgrounder-enabled Skype, and many other options become available.

If anyone else has tried running their iPhone off of a Mifi on Verizon and/or Sprint, please add a comment below and let Angie know how it worked for you.