Apple’s iPhone 4S announcement was a bit of a PR flop. No I exaggerate, it achieved front page coverage around the world, so flop is too strong a word. But people were disappointed, they hoped for an iPhone 5.
Realistically though, Apple can barely supply demand for the iPhone 4, why should it take a big hit to its margins by releasing a radical new model? Because it would hurt its competitors – but that sort of thinking has been shown to hurt company performance and increase the chances of going company failure.
An iPhone 5 would have a different shape and larger screen, and then all the enhancements of the 4S. Not perhaps a huge difference, so should Apple have just called its 4S a 5? Perhaps, but that would devalue the 3GS and 4 models that it is still selling and these models are much more important than people realise.
Apple has quietly expanded its reach even further with sales on the Sprint network but perhaps even more importantly they now have their first ‘free’ model (a 3GS with 2 year contract) that’s a very important place in the market to be. And they have a $99 iPhone 4 (with contract).