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Who is behind the anti-Apple 'Wake Up' campaign?

April 30, 2012|By Deborah Netburn

One week after a mysterious and well-choreographed "Wake Up!" protest took place outside an Apple Store in Sydney, Australia, Internet detectives are still trying to determine who sent the protesters and why.

"I've not seen anyone claim to be responsible yet; metaphorical 'second shoe' is yet to fall," tweeted Nate Burr, an Australian online video maker who conveniently caught the whole protest on video. "The speculation is amusing though."

Burr claims he just happened to be outside the Apple Store, experimenting with a Belkin boomer mic that attaches to his iPhone, when suddenly a black bus pulled up behind him and a group of what appears to be 30 or 40 protesters jumped out carrying black signs that read "Wake Up!"

The protesters, all dressed in black, proceeded to chant "Wake Up!" and wave their signs around for a while, and then they walked down the street.

It's unclear how long they stayed chanting, but it was long enough for Burr to get some nice shots from inside the glass walled Apple store of the new iPad and Apple's iconic logo in the foreground, and the Wake Up signs in the background.

Burr's video of the incident, complete with voice-over, first appeared online April 22. It has since been viewed more than 430,000 times.

The initial reaction from the blogosphere was that Samsung was behind the stunt. After all, Samsung's current advertising campaign explicitly implies that Apple die-hards are delusional and suffering from a herd mentality, and a Wake Up protest would fit neatly into that marketing strategy.

But on April 27, Samsung denied any involvement. "Samsung Electronics Australia has nothing to do with the Wake-Up campaign," the company told SlashGear.

The new suspect? Research in Motion.

There is a Wake Up Australia website -- presumably related to the Wake Up protest -- that is running a countdown to something (as of this writing it is four days, nine hours away).

MacTalk reports that a blogger named James Croft of Brisbane, Australia, looked at the source code for the Wake Up Australia website and found a doubleclick account identifier that seems to link the website to RIM Australia.

"None of this has actually been confirmed by RIM themselves," Croft writes on his personal blog. "Clearly the evidence is starting to stack up in favor of them being behind the whole mess, but it's still just a bunch of theories until they come out and either make it official or deny it."

One thing we can say for the Internet sleuths -- they certainly play fair.

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