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Phones

Owning iPhones doesn't make us friends

If you're a one-legged albino from Frome, and you bump into another one-legged albino from Frome on a train, that's a reason to strike up a conversation. Simply owning an iPhone is not

Apparently it may surprise a small number of people to know this, but simply owning an iPhone does not automatically make you friends with someone else who owns an iPhone.

I was on the train from the office the other night, reading the Web on my iPhone. Sat across from me was a girl, also using an iPhone. She noticed and raised her iPhone to show me that she, too, had an iPhone, and smiled at me accordingly.

Mostly, that's fine. People on trains habitually look miserable during their journey, and smiling at someone is always nice. However, her reason for smiling at me was purely because we both had iPhones -- a 'meeting of minds' over N95s, BlackBerry Curves or Sony Ericssons would not have caused this moment of atypical kinship.

Now, if you're a one-legged albino from Frome, for example, and you bump into another one-legged albino from Frome on a train, that's a reason to strike up a conversation (especially as you've probably both fallen over). Simply owning an iPhone is not.

But it happened again a few days later, only this time it was with a bloke in a cafe. He talked to me for a good five minutes about how great he thought the handset was, and asked why I got one.

"I'm a journalist -- I didn't buy it. It was free."

That certainly stumped him, but it only encouraged him to talk to me more about the 'amazing things' Apple has done for the phone industry and how he recently bought a MacBook Pro.

I'm more than happy to talk tech with strangers, and I love being a part of the passionate tech community. But Apple isn't such an uber-niche group that it requires complete strangers to walk over and proclaim "OMG, I use an iPhone as well!"

Does it?