Apple showed some love to several prepaid wireless carriers earlier this year by striking deals with them to sell the iPhone for the first time. The strategy benefited the iPhone maker by giving it access to new markets where previously Android and its other competitors had been the only option. Now Apple is doubling down on prepaid by shipping the just-announced iPhone 5 to several such carriers as soon as September 28— just one week after it's scheduled to hit the big three contract carriers.

Pre-paid wireless carriers getting the iPhone 5 this month so far include Cricket Wireless, C-Spire, Appalachian Wireless and Alaskan GCI. No word yet if/when iPhone 4S carrier Virgin Mobile will get the 5.

[via 9to5 Mac]