RIM Builds Army to Take On Apple

Profits of Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) have gone down as rapidly as those of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have grown, but is the troubled company bitter enough to create a public scene? It appears it is.

The BlackBerry maker announced on Monday that it was behind the “Wake Up” flashmob protest that took place outside a Sydney Apple Store last week, saying it was part of a larger campaign in the country. “We can confirm that the Australian ‘Wake Up’ campaign, which involves a series of experiential activities taking place across Sydney and Melbourne, was created by RIM Australia,” the company said in The Age.

Speculation had continued for a week after unidentified protestors in black outfits danced and chanted outside the store and the scene was caught by a video maker who posted it online. The initial suspect was Apple’s newest big rival, Samsung, but the Korean company distanced itself from the performance.

RIM has also launched a website targeted at Australian buyers that features a countdown timer to the launch of the company’s new smartphone, the BlackBerry 10. The company says an initial “reveal” will be held on May 7 and will try to “provoke conversation on what ‘being in business’ means to Australians”.

The company has also placed messages around Sydney and Melbourne, including one at the bottom of a pool at Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

The campaign has definitely made buzz, but RIM will have to wait and watch if consumers react favorably to the negative publicity against a competitor.