(For my US readers - that sort of fashion faux pas would probably get you turned away from a trendy bar in London or Milan.... it's the European style-mistake equivalent of what I'm told are called pocket protectors)
There are a few reasons I can think of for this. And despite the swarms of tourists in my part of London I'll refrain from commenting on any sweeping or offensive stereotypes.
- Firstly, the US embraced PDAs much more vigorously than Europe, so the idea of some sort of handheld computer is much more engrained and accepted.
- Secondly, the preference for email and IM, and the later/slower adoption of SMS has reduced the number of people mentally-tuned into writing with multitap vs. Qwerty
- Thirdly, the BlackBerry phenomenon has run much longer, and wider, than it has in Europe. I see many more non-corporate 'civilians' with them in the US.
- Fourthly, the US historically had quite a high adoption of pagers relative to Europe.
But perhaps most interestingly.... geeky devices in the US have cool names. Hiptop. Dash. Curve. Q. Mogul. Blackjack. iPhone.
....compare those with MDA Vario III, XDA Executive, HTC S620, iPaq hw6910, Nokia E61i, Samsung i320, M3000 and so on.
Can you imagine a stranger ever coming up to you in a bar and saying "Oh wow, is that really a v1605?".