Steve Jobs gave a new iPhone to the Russian president the day before patriotic American fanboys battled lines, shortages and debilitating heat to splurge on the smartphone. Just what sort of "revolution" is the Apple CEO really planning, mmm?

Jobs' gift confirmed rumors, reported here previously, that he'd make a pre-release iPhone part of "elected" Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev's tour of Silicon Valley this week. The optics are unfortunate; Americans are exposing themselves to muggers and heat stroke in long, Soviet-style lines outside Apple stores while the elite swap precious goods among themselves. And yet it's hard to have too much sympathy for the sweaty Apple fanatics, who after all are only enduring queues so they can be first in their social circle to own the shiny accessory of the moment. Apple customers might be excluded from Apple's Kremlin, but they consider themselves very much part of the intelligentsia. Your devotion to Mother Apple will not be forgotten, comrades.

[Pic: via TrueSlant]