Cricket Universal SIM Activation Kits from Walmart.com. The kits have been available at some Walmart stores for a couple of weeks but just appeared online today. They are priced at $9.88. There's no word on what size SIMs are contained in the kits but as they are described as "Universal" and being "compatible with most GSM devices", I'm guessing they contain all three common SIM sizes; mini, micro and nano.
Cricket GSM SIMs have been available for $10 from cricketwireless.com ever since AT&T took over Cricket in June so their arrival at Walmart.com doesn't open the online channel as it was already open. But it does mark a further move away from Cricket's traditional dealer model toward a more mass market approach. I can't imagine Cricket dealers are happy about having to compete with Walmart.
The activation process with the Walmart SIMs is a little different than with SIMs from cricketwireless.com.
When you order a SIM directly from Cricket, you have to choose and pay for a rate plan at the time of the order. The SIM comes with a phone number assigned based on the zip code you entered when ordering. If you're porting a number, you also give Cricket your current provider's name, account number and passcode at the time of order. When the SIM arrives you still have to call Cricket or go online to activate it or start the port. Cricket only gives you 30 days after placing the order to start the activation process or the SIM becomes disabled. That means that you can't order a SIM and throw it in a drawer to use when you need AT&T coverage for a trip months latter. Having to give porting information before receiving the SIM also made some customers nervous as they were afraid that they would lose service with their old provider before they were up and running on Cricket.
The activation process for the Walmart Cricket SIMs works the traditional way, you order a SIM without a rate plan and when you are ready to activate it you go to cricketwireless.com/join and enter the SIM ID and phone IMEI, choose a plan and if you are porting, provide the account info for your previous provider'. Hopefully, cricketwireless.com will adopt this more conventional approach to SIM sales.