We were told to keep this one under wraps until the deal went through, but our friends over at the CBerry have started reporting a release date for the BlackBerry 8820, so we can’t hold out any longer. CrackBerry states that along with a September 4th release date, AT&T BlackBerry 8820s will not have their built-in GPS neutered to work with only TeleNav’s service, like we told you previously. They’re probably right, and here’s why.
Right now RIM and AT&T are in the process of re-negotiating the GPS status of the BlackBerry 8820. We’re not sure if the deal has been finalized yet, but if the AT&T documents are correct, it seems at least all-but a done deal. What’s the reason for this? Well, frankly, it’s because AT&T was none too pleased with the hurricane of negative feedback that rolled through the Internet after we broke the story. So basically, loyal citizens of the Internet, you have yourselves to thank for putting AT&T in their place and getting the BlackBerry you deserve. (Unofficial) word from RIM is that, internally, they’re popping open champagne and are very grateful for the support they got from the “BlackBerry Nation”.
One question still remains: what will happen to the neutered BlackBerry 8820s already out there? Boy Genius had reported that AT&T was set to slowly roll out the device on a store by store basis, once BlackBerry 8800 stock had been eliminated, which means that there are at least some out there (the neutering is done via software, so every device that hasn’t left RIM’s hands yet can easily be fixed, although we’re told that this could add a day or two of delay to the supply chain). Will they simply send them back, or sell them to the public and hope nobody notices? Our source told us that this depends on how many there are in existence, but for our money, nothing underhanded AT&T does would surprise us.
(Note: If anyone can get their hands on one, you know who to email.)
Final thoughts? If the deal hasn’t been finalized yet, RIM, you have AT&T by the balls: keep squeezing. If it has been finalized, congratulations, and never let a carrier push you around again. Your real customers are rooting for you.
Oh, and RIM? You’re welcome.