There are likely to be a few people camping out overnight to get their hands on an iPhone 5 when they finally launch, and perhaps some who’ll stay out for a couple of nights. But one man is prepared to camp out for a whole month if need be.
Rob Shoesmith, a marketing and PR executive for smartphone app development firm MEDL Mobile, is already gearing himself up for a long wait outside the Apple Store in Covent Garden in order to get his hands on the iPhone 5.
If that weren’t enough, he’s set himself the aim of not spending any money while he’s waiting, instead relying on the publicity The iPhone 5 Experiment generates to convince businesses to provide him with everything he needs to get through the ordeal – from food to somewhere to go to the toilet.
Macworld asked him just exactly what he’s up to.
Macworld: When will you start camping?
Rob Shoesmith: The idea is to wait until there is an official announcement from Apple as to when the new iPhone will be going on sale.
MW: What do you expect conditions to be like? It’ll be pretty cold, surely.
RS: It was around March time when the idea of doing the experiment came into my head. I was envisaging the new iPhone 5 was going to go on sale in the summer around August time and the weather would be pretty warm. Now that its going to be around October time it’s made the challenge a lot tougher! I have been hearing on the news that there is a distinct possibilty of snow coming to London within the next week or two. Thankfully I have been donated outdoor clothing by companies including Helly Hansen and a wearable sleeping bag by Musuc’Bag which will keep me toasty. It would be cool if people passing the Covent Garden Apple Store could drop off some hot chocolate or soup to keep me warm.
MW: You can’t spend any money when you’re in line – do you think you’ll be hungry? Bored?
RS: I have around 10 restaurants in the Central London area who will be delivering meals to my tent so I don’t think I will go hungry – in fact with me being rooted to the spot I will probably put some weight on! I have also been donated lots of packets of crisps and chocolate bars to see me through the experiment.
I don’t think I will get bored as I have lined up some acts to entertain me. I have a belly dancer flying down from Scotland, a magician to perform some tricks, a freestyle soccer player to perform some tricks and a number of singers who plan on stopping by.
I will be posting a lot of blogs and hopefully connecting with a lot of people on twitter. If anyone wants to connect with me tweet me @shoesmith81 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or even better pop down to the Apple Store in Covent Garden and say Hi.
I work for an app developer, MEDL Mobile, and I will play a couple of their apps Boxhead The Zombie Wars and Fruit Blast to pass the time and will set some cool challenges to people who are following my experiment.
MW: What gave you the idea?
RS: I absolutely adore Apple products and the iPhone in particular. I feel the iPhone is the best smartphone on the market and there is always a huge buzz around new product launches and it will be great to experience this whilst camping out. I’ve attended past launches and its always good to meet and chat with like minded people interested in Apple and tech products.
MW: Have you camped out for a product launch before?
RS: Never! the longest I have been in line was for 4 hours so the experiment will certainly be an eye opener! I was in line for the iPad 2 without any food and a chair and by the time I got my hands on the device my feet were killing me and I was starving. This time around it will be very different!
MW: What do you think the iPhone 5 will be like?
RS: I think Apple will release something very special. Android devices are getting better and better and I feel Apple needs to stay one step ahead of the competition. I think there will be an inclusion of the A5 chip that the iPad 2 sports and I guess a better camera and battery life will be included.
MW: What will be the key feature of the new iPhone for you?
iOS 5 for sure! Apple have such a great knack of making easy to use products and the update looks really impressive.
MW: Some people might say you’re doing this simply as a publicity stunt – what would you say to them?
RS: The idea of the experiment is to provide some funny entertaining blog posts whilst I’m in line and to show how much influence Apple has over totally unrelated companies. Of course any new media connections I make will be great in my role promoting iPhone apps for MEDL Mobile.
Of course, we’ll be keeping an eye on Rob while he’s in the queue, taking him the odd copy of Macworld to read, but if you want to see him for yourself, then make your way down to Apple Store, No. 1-7 The Piazza London, WC2E 8HA, from around about 4 October (we think) onwards.