RIM and AT&T are negotiating a deal to leave the BlackBerry 8820 un-neutered; the Internet wins

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.

13 Responses to “RIM and AT&T are negotiating a deal to leave the BlackBerry 8820 un-neutered; the Internet wins”


  1. 1 Andrew

    This is a bittersweet victory, and great for the end user - but I can’t help feeling a bit disappointed in RIM for not demanding this from the start. Hopefully this empowers them a bit and in the future and they won’t be so quick to bend to the whims of the carriers when they request features crippled or removed. Like for example a VoIP stack on the wifi berries

  2. 2 Aaron

    Wow, you guys should change your tagline from “the voice of the BlackBerry Community” to “RIM’s PR”.

    Good news for AT&T subscribers, though.

  3. 3 BlackBerry Cool Douglas

    Aaron,

    I’m not sure if that’s a diss or not, but I like the sound of it.

    BlackBerry Cool: “RIM’s Internet PR”

    We should really be scoring it as a win for Slashdot, however. Damn those guys carry some weight.

  4. 4 jibi

    So if there’s a deal that went through, what did they accomplish? The removal of the AT&T and 102 references following from the LBS.alx:


    In all honesty, I think more was made of this than it should have been. Starting with the 8800 series devices, RIM and AT&T have done this. It’s a simple software lock that can easily be fixed by anyone. It had nothing to do with the release of the 8820 but rather the release of the 8800 and it’s GPS features. The only people this affected, which may actually be a large number, were those who thought TeleNav was their only option (due to a service book-enabled icon) or didn’t know how to download BlackBerry Maps or Google Maps from the web.

    If the