Touch screen phones compatible with prepaid or no-contract plans are now plentiful and affordable. Some (perhaps most) are now smart phones. You can now even get an iPhone 6 as a no-contract (but expensive) phone along with several Android phones below $100.
Actually, when the iPhone first came out, many people succeeded in making them work with the AT&T GoPhone voice and data plans. This apparently didn’t make Apple and AT&T happy so this option disappeared for a couple of years.
I believe there were some things you can hack your iPhone to do some things you’re not supposed to do, including making them work with a prepaid plan. It was usually not worth the hassle though, and there were even some risks.
However, Since 2012, you can get various versions of the iPhone with a couple of no-contract plans starting with Virgin Mobile, Straight Talk and Consumer Cellular (which is the first such provider to offer the iPhone 6).
You can get basic touchscreen phones from Tracfone and Net10 that will keep your monthly costs low. Options include the LG 505C, LG 800g and Motorola EX124g. These phone also run Java apps you can download from various site on the internet.
Good prepaid touchscreen phones are also available from most other companies such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile etc.
Once phones running Google's Android operating system came out, the marketplace changed and you had a whole lot of touchscreen phones available, though initially only as contract phones.
Slowly, the major prepaid companies began to introduce Android touchscreen phones at somewhat reasonable prices. Most of these phones require data plans, though there are still some smaller providers like PlatinumTel which will sell you an Android touchscreen phone that you can use with their pay as you go plan.
Still the attraction of the Android phones is their data capabilities. You either need a data plan or be connected to a WiFi network to make full use of the plan.
Straight Talk and Net10 offer quite a few Android touchscreen phones. You have to use them with their $45 and $50 plans respectively, which offer unlimited talk, text and data.
They use different network providers depending on the phone and your location.
Android touchscreen phones are available from the other major providers with the requirement that you get a data package as well.
AT&T first introduced the LG Neon which had both a touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard. This was followed by the touchscreen-only LG Prime. The Neon didn't fare so well at first, but the Prime was a hit.
AT&T then brought out a whole slew of smartphones
many of them with touchscreens.
Many of these touch screen phones are good for surfing the web as well, though to do much of that you'll have to add a data package to your phone otherwise you'll run out of airtime fast. There is a $20 data package that gives your 100 MB which you can add onto your prepaid plan, or you can switch to the unlimited Gophone plan.
T-Mobile phones are also available at reasonable prices. Among the first introduced was the T-Mobile Tap. These have been followed quickly by many smart phones - Android and Windows.
If you're interested in Sprint-based phones, then you have to use one of the services they own such as Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.
Verizon offers touchscreen smart phones with
their monthly prepaid plans. They offer a couple of 4G phones and a couple of 3G phones with a set of plans to go with them.