Apple Store 'Wake Up'

One of the store of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in Australia was stormed by protesters chanting “Wake Up” along with placards bearing the same phrase in bold sign. The protest was apparently aimed not only at Apple but at loyal Apple customers as well.

While there is no solid evidence that point to the mastermind of such act, initial investigations by third parties all pointed to an advertising agency named Tongue, which happens to be one of the marketing arms of Samsung (NASDAQ: SSNLF). That is why there are some reports that Samsung initiated the ‘wake up’ protest against Apple and its customers as part of its marketing strategies in the upcoming release of its Next Galaxy smartphone, which is scheduled for launching come May 3, 2012.

The ‘Wake Up’ slogan is not something new. In fact, an Australian website exists dedicated only for this campaign. Featured at the site is a countdown timer that will eventually reach zero by May 6, three days after the scheduled launch of Samsung S III, a next generation smartphone.

Coincidentally, the owner of the website was traced to New Dialogue as the registered owner. This happens to be an old name of Tongue, the Sydney-based advertising agency that reportedly organized the ‘Wake Up’ protest in front of the Apple store in Australia. Aside from the website and the protesters’ placards, the ‘Wake Up’ slogan can also be seen in some billboards; one can even be seen at the bottom of a Bondi Ice Bergs swimming pool.

All evidences point to Samsung, and people are speculating that the competition between Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is brewing up to the point that one of them is already taking the fight to the street, and aiming not only at the competitor company but also at its loyal followers.

Apple’s iPhone 4S recently rocked the smartphone market, generating sales way beyond expectations. Its new presence in China further boosted its iPhone sales, eating up bigger slice of the share. Despite that, Apple remains at the second spot, trailing behind Samsung in terms of worldwide smartphone vendor shipments during the first quarter of 2012.

During the same period the previous year, Nokia was the market leader enjoying 23.5% of the smartphone market. Apple comes next at 18.1%, followed by Samsung getting only 12.2% of the market.

In Q1 2012, the market scenario is completely different, with Samsung dominating the market with a staggering 30.65% share. Apple remains at the second spot with 24.1% share, while Nokia badly fell at only 8.2% of the share.

Being a market leader, it is hard to imagine a company taking the fight to the street, and aiming at the customers. Why would an industry leader in smartphones perform such act, which is not quite a mark of a champion? Such strategy will only rebound back to Samsung, and do damage to the company’s image if pursued further. While the case is isolated, it could hurt the Australian market for smartphones, and affect the launch performance of Galaxy S III in Australia.

According to initial reports, Galaxy S III will have several cutting-edge features; among them is a 1.4GHz 3 Quad processor, 4G LTE, 8-megapixel camera, and a 1280×720 pixel resolution 4.6-inches display. The upcoming release of Samsung’s Galaxy S III is projected to skyrocket its sales once again, further stretching the market share gap between Samsung and Apple. But such success might be cut short when Apple launches yet another blockbuster smartphone, iPhone 5, before this year ends.

The protest outside the Australian Apple store is nothing new to the company. In fact, it is the second in a row within the week. Earlier, another Apple store also received similar protest from Greenpeace over the company’s use of coal to power up its colossal iCloud datacentre in North Carolina.