Cast your minds back six weeks or so ago. It’s hard to remember a time before the iPhone 4S, Motorola RAZR, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, but that time did indeed exist. Bizarre-o.
Back then I e-chatted with evil marketing genius/former bin man/seemingly nice guy Rob Shoesmith, and asked a few questions about his plans to camp outside the Covent Garden Apple store for a month prior to the iPhone 4S’ release.
I caught up with Rob again this week via the magic of electronic mail, and Da Shoe (as he never calls himself) told me how he got on.
First thing's first: What do you think of your shiny new iPhone 4S?
I love it! It is the best smartphone on the market by a mile! The faster processor has really made a difference to me browsing the web and picking up emails when I'm out and about via 3g. The camera is great and the notifications system is a lot better.
Out of interest, which phone did you have before the iPhone 4S? My guess is an iPhone 4...
Yes I had the iPhone 4. I'm a big Apple fan. I love the simplicity of the iPhone.
You initially intended to camp for a month, but it all happened really quickly. How long did you actually camp for?
Ten nights and that was more than enough. It was a lot harder to get through it than I was expecting. I set up camp on the morning before the keynote. It was a brilliant experience though and I made so many new connections that will stand me in good stead for my role in promoting apps for MEDL Mobile.
Would you do it again?
You can never say never, but I don't think I would do it in the same format again. The cold weather at night was really tough to cope with and with the Apple Store being located in Central London it was such busy place and it had a serious effect on my ability to sleep and by the end of my experiment I was exhausted. I like to try new ideas out and want to come up with something different for future expeditions.
Was there a standout moment - anything particularly weird or surreal or exciting?
There were so many weird and surreal moments. One night I was about to go to sleep when a very drunken South African lady came over to me and performed one of the old iTunes style dances and proceeded to me give some money as she thought I was homeless! I tried to explain I wasn't but she was having none of it.
I also connected with a lot of homeless people who I became friends with and it opened my eyes as to how difficult life is for people roughing it on the streets. I had top quality equipment but some of these people had nothing!
One homeless man I met called Terry Partington (@terrypartington on Twitter ) was one of the first people I met and he helped me to adjust to life on the streets. What amazed me was when he pulled out a Macbook and connected it to the Apple store’s Wi-Fi.
His computer was his only way to stay connected to the world he dearly missed! He had been homeless for around 3 months and managed to hang on it. He was terrific and helped me film some YouTube videos.
I also had a belly dancer dance for me and had my haircut whilst in line to pass the time.
The press interest was amazing and the story spread all over the world and I did some live Skype interviews for TV stations as far away as Israel and Brazil.
Were you aware of the robbery that took place the Monday before the launch? It sounded a bit mental.
Yes I was camped out about 10 yards from where it happened. I was fast asleep and heard the sound of motorbikes whizz by me but by the time I had opened my eyes they were in and out and making a getaway. To be honest at night Central London is very noisy anyway and I tried to block as much of it out to sleep.
I posted a blog just after it happened and a YouTube reaction video. As you can see I was very tired at the time I posted it. It was around 1am in the morning.
What would you like to see in the iPhone 5?
A total new redesign. As much as I love the clean line of the 4S it’s always nice to see a brand new design. A bigger screen would also be good.