It’s a sad day when carriers purposely cripple or disable their handsets. The only thing sadder is being constantly reminded of that fact. Case in point, AT&T is reportedly crippling the GPS feature on their upcoming BlackBerry 8820. Apparently, the BlackBerry 8820 may ship with a limited navigation software suite – the TeleNav service from AT&T. Anyone wanting to actually use the GPS feature on their 8820 will have to pony up $6 for 10 uses a month or $10 for unlimited uses per month. So, on top of the data package you’re going to have buy, you’ll also need to pay extra to use the built-in GPS module. Unfair.
The move to cripple the BlackBerry 8820 help preserve the Apple iPhone Google Maps feature’s appeal to customers. Remember, AT&T is in a multi-year contract with Apple for the iPhone, and they want to push as many out the door as possible. Is AT&T trying to protect their iPhone investment? Is Apple trying to keep iPhone competitors from stealing their spotlight? Electronista‘s source won’t specify, but we have a sneaking suspicion that Apple had a big hand in this deal – afterall, why would AT&T not want to sell as many phones (whichever they might be) as possible?
We’re expecting a September launch, so the BlackBerry 8820 is going to miss the expected August launch window by a month or so.
We’re actually crossing our fingers for this rumor not to come true. But, we have a feeling that we’ll be let down by AT&T…again.