Just like the iPhone 4S, Apple is giving the iPhone 5 a wider appeal by allowing regional United States carriers to offer the device. Cricket Communications and C Spire both announced they will be carrying the iPhone 5 in select markets in the U.S. beginning Friday, September 28. That's one week after the iPhone 5 is set to land at the big three, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. GCI of Alaska and Appalachian Wireless will also offer the iPhone 5 on September 28.
The iPhone 5 will launch in United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Singapore on September 21. Apple will then rollout the iPhone 5 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland on September 28.
Cricket Wireless has launched the first pre-paid iPhone in the U.S. this weekend. Circket is offering a 16GB no contract iPhone 4S for $500, and an 8GB iPhone 4 for $400. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon offer the 16GB iPhone 4S for $200 with a two year agreement. A pre-paid Cricket iPhone also comes with a $55 unlimited calling and text messaging plan with 2.3GB of data.
A Cricket representative told CNET that the phone is available at their retail stores and select dealers. The rep also claimed that they are experiencing "brisk" customer activity.
Cricket covers around 60 million Americans compared to AT&T' and Verizon's 300 million.
Sprint is looking to sell as many iPhones as possible thanks to its deal with Apple. Now the company is moving to offer a pre-paid iPhone to customers through its Virgin Mobile brand in the US. The iPhone will be available on the carrier starting on July 1.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of news that carriers Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless will offer pre-paid iPhones starting this summer. Cricket will be the first carrier to sell a pre-paid iPhone with no contract in the US. The company plans to begin offering the device along with a $150 subsidy on June 22.
Wireless carrier Cricket has announced it will be offering two iPhone models pre-paid with no contract starting on June 22. The iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S will be available subsidized for $400 and $500 respectively. This pricing is $150 cheaper than buying a no-commitment iPhone 4S from Apple.
Besides no contract, Cricket offers the advantage of an unlimited talk, text and data plan for only $55 per month. This undercuts all of the major carriers, although Cricket will throttle data speeds when customers exceed 2.3 GB during the billing period.