Did Samsung hire Randy Michaels? Or was it BlackBerry? Somehow the “Smartphone Wars” have devolved into tactical warfare that has “’80s radio” written all over it.
After reading a story about how a mysterious black bus pulled up in front of an Apple Store in Sydney, Australia, to stage an apparent “protest,” I couldn’t help but think of those sophomoric Jacorian hijinks that used to be so common in radio.
A video below, narrated by a guy named Blunty (who was apparently set up to be there to capture the moment), takes you through the sequence of events. The bus was wrapped with huge “WAKE UP” signage, loaded with a group of young people dressed in black with professionally made “Wake Up” signs. That’s Samsung’s slogan for its new Galaxy Android phone, but of course, Samsung denies having anything to do with this. And recently, BlackBerry stepped up and actually took credit for pulling off this stunt.
What does it tell you about the state of smartphone competition, as well as Apple’s domination? In reading comments about this article and others that are related to Apple versus Android, these factions often seem as fervent (and irrational) as the two sides at a Michigan/Ohio State game. Maybe that’s how BlackBerry figured it. For many, it has the whiff of desperation and just comes off as desperate.
What’s next? Going through the Apple Store’s trash? Soaping their employees’ car windows in the parking lot? Or sending out fake letters on Apple stationary to their “Geniuses” about fake management changes and policies? Hey, it worked in radio, didn’t it?
Techsurvey8 shows that Apple has the strongest degree of loyalty of all cell phone platforms and brands. A larger percentage of iPhone owners tell us their next phone will be another Apple. Android’s “next smartphone” numbers are impressive – but lower. And then there are the pathetic returns for BlackBerry where more of their current owners say they’ll switch to Apple rather than buy another R.I.M. phone.
You may have read the story from a few weeks back that Research In Motion – maker of BlackBerry – was ditching the consumer market and refocusing their efforts on the business (“enterprise”) market. Thorsten Heins, CEO of RIM, has recently tried to reassure customers that BlackBerry is not abandoning them but is just eliminating some in-house services. Too bad, because the consumer market is abandoning BlackBerry.
In every metric you look at, BlackBerry has become the MySpace of smartphones.
Maybe instead of hiring a bus and a bunch of unemployed kids, they should spend more effort determining why consumers have left them in droves.
And you thought it could only happen in radio.