Yes, the Roman and Egyptian Empires were successful in their day. I was referring to the most successful since the industrial revolution (which the UK started to their credit). I think Italy has done a generally good job with their economy over the years, like many places, it isn't in the best state currently. On the other hand, Egypt has largely been a disaster in recent times. It's been held back greatly by religious ideologies, like so much of the Middle East has been.
The US does have a big population but that counts for nothing if the majority of the people are dumb and disorganized. Africa and the Middle East have been around far longer than the US and other Western countries but how far have they progressed? Not very far.
I'm not American but I can assure you there will be plenty of people in Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Japan and many other countries who will be lining up to buy the iPhone on its debut. It's not just the Americans. In fact, Australians have a greater take up of Apple iPhones per capita than the US.