Fool contributor Tim Beyers has been tough on Research In Motion (NYSE:BB), and justifiably so. Management gaffes and product miscues have conspired to torpedo this business and its loyal investors over the past year.
But now there are signs of returning innovation. The new BlackBerry Messenger with BBM VoIce allows for free voice calling between two BlackBerry users over a Wi-Fi network.
As you might imagine, this feature is helpful for those who might be calling from or to emerging markets where cellular minutes are expensive. A wonderful add-on -- and potential differentiator -- when you consider that RIM's data network is global.
To be fair, both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with FaceTime, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), with Skype, offer their mobile users similar functionality. The difference is that RIM is concentrating on voice, which isn't as data-intensive. Lower-grade Wi-Fi networks that would have a difficult time handling a video call made across continents might have no trouble handling voice.
In all, Tim sees this as a rare win for Research In Motion. Do you agree? Watch the following video to hear the whole story and then leave a comment in the box below.