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Occupy Rockwell: How Smart closed down a mall and threw the biggest tech event of the year

When we went to Smart’s iPhone 4S launching at the Rockwell Mall yesterday, we weren’t sure what we were getting into. For one, the event was at 10 PM, a call time that was nearly unheard of for media. Two, they managed to close down Rockwell Power Plant for the duration of the event, which was officially slated to run from 10 PM to 4 AM. But as we learned as the night went on, it was only the beginning of the wild, crazy, party.

See, this wasn’t just an iPhone 4S launch party. The event which was dubbed Smart’s Holiday Camp Out, was like a gigantic thank you to all of Smart’s subscribers and was possibly the biggest technology event we’ve covered this year in the Philippines. Apparently, the whole rationale for closing down the Rockwell Power Plant mall was to allow Smart to make some of the amenities of the mall available to select subscribers and VIPs – free food at Burgoo, Cibo and Sumo Sam, free booze absolutely everywhere, coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Starbucks, free screenings of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol until 1:00 am, absolutely free arcade play at the Q Powerstation. We would be remiss if we didn’t include the raffles that Smart did for the people who were present during the event. 27-inch iMacs, Macbook Airs up the wazoo, iPads, iPods, PS3s, XBOX Kinects, Beats by Dr. Dre and the mother of all raffle prizes – a Subaru Impreza STi. Smart also rocked the house with massive foreign talent with Lupe Fiasco and Jermain Dupri, and excellent DJs DJ Ace, Skratchmark and Mars Miranda.

Of course, the biggest story at the event was the launch of the iPhone 4S. Smart had that covered too – unbeknownst to the first ten subscribers, the telco prepared extra goodies to sweeten the deal. The first ten Smart iPhone 4S subscribers got absolutely massive freebies – 27-inch iMacs, Macbook Airs and XBOX 360s were given away. The first Smart iPhone 4S subscriber Mr. Sherwin Soriaga who bought a 64GB iPhone 4S also took home a 27-inch iMac (absolutely free) and more importantly, shared a photo with the man himself, Manny V. Pangilinan, Chairman of Smart.

And then there’s the plans – Smart’s iPhone 4S plans are extremely competitive, with the lowest pre-paid cash out being Php 33,200 for the 16GB version. You can check out the pricing details here.

It still remains to be seen if Smart’s iPhone 4S sign-ups surpasses Globe’s, but one thing is for sure – they seriously know how to throw a great party.