Apple Is Speeding, We Just Don't Notice It Anymore
Allow me paint you a word-picture: you hit the motorway and get up to 70mph, it feels really fast but after five minutes or so that fades. Later you take your exit and decelerate, it feels amazingly slow by comparison, eventually that normalises too and some time later you reach your destination, but that's not important for this poorly constructed analogy. My point is that Apple are that car on the motorway, hurtling along at 70mph and they've been doing it for so long now that we don't even notice the speed, we don't feel it like we used to but we sure as hell would notice if Apple slowed down.
Spend five minutes on the internet and you'll come across countless articles about how the iPhone 5 is "a disappointment" or "doesn't meet expectations" and they're just plain wrong, but it's easy to see why the iPhone fails to meet some people's expectations - their expectations are ridiculous. People don't feel that 70mph speed any more, they need Apple to accelerate up to 100 to satisfy them and it's just not possible.
Apple's strategy with the iPhone is obvious, they hit the spot with the very first one and now they're on a relentless journey down the road to refine it as much as they can. There's a good reason why the hardware and the software of the iPhone have not changed drastically in design from 2007 to the present day - Apple hit a home run with both when they first launched the iPhone. People that are disappointed by the fact the iPhone 5's design isn't drastically different from any of the previous models and that the look of iOS hasn't changed have forgotten a key fact - they don't need to change. Consumers clearly love the design of both the iPhone itself and iOS as well, the sales figures speak for themselves and what's more is that everyone has become familiar with them too and this is of particular importance with iOS. If Apple made iOS look different and/or operate differently then they run the risk of confusing and alienating a whole bunch of customers, so why bother doing it? There's no point, especially when iOS isn't really lacking in a great deal (not on the iPhone at least, the iPad is another matter), changing the look, feel and operational process of iOS would be doing so just for the sake of it, it's a classic "if it ain't broke" scenario.
Apple will carry on doing what they're doing by refining that winning formula they found in 2007, they'll keep heading down that road at 70 and while it may not feel as fast and impressive as it used to, all it takes is for us to slow things down, take a look and quickly realise just how remarkable a feat it is for them to still be travelling down that road and still doing 70.