That wild-eyed troupe of die-hard Apple cultists stretching round the block at iPhone launches has become a staple in the tech calendar, but if you thought deckchairs and KFC family buckets was dedication, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Rob Shoesmith, marketing manager for US app developer MEDL Mobile, is so determined to get his mitts on the UK’s first iPhone 5 that he’ll be setting up camp outside the Apple Store in Covent Garden a whole month ahead of the iPhone 5 UK launch, living off freebies given to him by companies looking to get in on the free publicity.
Even though the iPhone 5 isn’t out for another month (so sayeth the rumour mill), companies have been lining up to get in on what he’s calling “an experiment to see if it’s possible to live off of Apple’s huge marketing influence”, offering Shoesmith everything from free camping equipment to a personal hairdresser and laundry service. Bear Grylls this ain’t.
As for food, Shoesmith has reportedly been gifted a sackload of sweets from Cyber Candy, bags of flavoured pop corn and an iPhone-shaped cake knocked up by a local baker. Shoesmith, who just to reiterate hasn’t even started his camping trip yet, aims to divine the iPhone 5 launch date from the cryptic “Please join us on such-and-such a date” messages that Apple traditionally send out ahead of major product launches, to be there a month ahead of the launch. That is, if diabetes doesn’t get him first.
You can keep yourself up to date with Mr. Shoesmith’s progress on his blog, iphone5experiment.com, or via his twitter feed, which he will be using throughout his camping trip with help from some free iPhone solar power chargers.