Following the initial flurry of activity following yesterday’s iPhone 5 launch, multiple US carriers outside of Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have announced plans to release the iPhone 5 one week after the main US launch.
Starting with regional flat-rate carrier Cricket, the iPhone 5 will be launched in a 16GB version for $499.99 while the 4S will get a $100 discount to $399.99. C Spire, Appalachian Wireless and Alaska’s GCI have also confirmed plans to launch the iPhone 5 with similar pricing to the Cricket Wireless version, but those carriers have yet to announce specific pricing and versions offered, with the expectation that all of the remaining regional carriers will carry the 16GB version of the phone, as was done with the 4S last year.
While no mention was made during yesterday’s event, the fact that the US regional carriers are preparing to launch the iPhone 5 so soon after the Tier 1 carrier launch on the 21st means that the regional players are more than willing to compete in order to maintain and serve their respective customer bases, despite the increased costs involved in offering the iPhone.
As expected, these versions of the iPhone will be the CDMA version also being launched on Sprint and Verizon with no changes to hardware. While the Sprint and Verizon versions will ship with LTE support for their respective networks, its expected that the regional carrier versions will have that disabled in order to ship quickly.