Cricket Wireless has become the first US prepaid carrier to announce availability of Apple's recently-unveiled iPhone 5, with the company planning to sell the device from September 28th. While the carrier has not yet released pricing information, and Apple itself has not released US pricing for unlocked devices, it is likely to fall in line with that of the 16GB iPhone 4S, which sold for $649 unlocked, or $499 with Cricket's subsidy.

When Cricket secured the iPhone 4 and 4S back in June, it became the first US prepaid carrier to offer any of Apple's handsets, but the 4S's June availability date fell more than six months after the device's original release. Contract-averse customers will welcome the carrier's new speediness, likely a sign of closer co-operation with Apple — whether other prepaid carriers will announce availability in the coming days and weeks remains to be seen.