RIM’s Apple Store ‘Wake Up’ Flash Mob Was Just Silly

Wake UpThe Apple Store in Sydney was the scene of a mysterious protest last week, with people chanting and waving placards that read “wake up.” After Samsung, the number one suspect, denied any involvement, BlackBerry Make Research In Motion came forward.

Surprise! The company that was once the leader of smartphones, which has failed to stop Apple and Android OEMs from eating away its market share, wants Apple’s customers to wake up. But wake up from what, exactly?

It’s one thing to taunt a competitor on TV, like Apple did in its infamous “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” campaign. But to stage a protest in front of a competitor’s brick and mortar (or glass) store is a whole different ball game, especially when the company doing the poking is RIM.

Most people pointed their fingers at Samsung for obvious reasons: The Korean company is Apple’s top competitor in smartphones and has specifically targeted iPhone customers in its recent commercials. With its array of wildly successful Android phones, Samsung has the luxury to brag.

RIM took Samsung’s campaign to a whole new level, but without Samsung’s success. It’s like North Korea’s recent threat to reduce South Korea to ashes — after its rocket blew up in mid-air.

Sure, RIM has just unveiled BlackBerry 10, a new mobile OS that the company hopes will help change the tide. Among other things, BB10 will sport a new touch-based keyboard, multitasking capabilities and camera software. It’s still too early for a verdict, but my first impression of the OS is a good one, judging solely from this video. But, though I really liked the PlayBook OS too, an OS alone alone isn’t enough in today’s world.

RIM’s silly for staging a protest with a “wake up” theme that’s more suited to itself. RIM seems to think that the root of its troubles are — consumers. They’re just too dumb to appreciate its products while they indulge in Apple’s inferior offerings. These iSheeps need to be awakened.

Actually, I refuse to believe that’s what’s on the mind of RIM’s top officials. But that’s the message the campaign carried. Regardless of the perceived superiority of RIM’s BB10 devices, I don’t see how dissing potential customers can work in RIM’s favor.

My advice to RIM: Focus on working on defense before going on offense, especially against a giant competitor. Wake up!

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