We received a missive from Slartibartfast yesterday (no, not that Slartibartfast) that piqued our interest:

BGR is reporting from a Howard forums thread that VZ unlocked blackberry GPSs. Is your GPS initiative gaining traction at VZ?

Indeed, BGR was reporting and our friends at CrackBerry.com confirmed and chatted it up in their forums. Like ol' Slarti there (can we call you Slarti?), we felt the teeniest, tiniest tinge of excitement as we briefly believed that not only was Verizon actually going to be switching to a sane and reasonable GPS policy, but that maybe our sternly worded letter may have, you know, been read. Then we came back to earth. For one, this is on BlackBerry, not WM. For two, well, we're just not that big a deal.

For three, and here's the kicker, it turns out that while GPS on certain BB models have been unlocked, it's only been unlocked for BlackBerry Maps, not for other 3rd party GPS applications on the platform. In other words, it pretty much looks like RIM put the screws to Verizon to allow their own on-board Maps app to work properly so as to not screw with user expectations for the platform, but didn't fight so hard that they got the big V to open GPS up completely. Member fyrfyter at CrackBerry.com speculates that the screwdriver in this particular negotiation was the BlackBerry Storm, and that seems reasonable to us.

It's (half of) the sort of pressure on carriers to open things up we'd like to see from Microsoft, though. Any sign of weakness in Big Red's Lock-Down Armor is a good one, right?