This upgrade reminds me of the upgrade from the Blackberry 9700 to the Blackberry 9780. In both cases: camera is considerably improved, processor and/or memory modestly improved, more interface eye (or ear) candy. It's no wonder that many people seem to be disappointed, given all the associated hype.
The iPhone 4 seemed like a huge step up from prior models to me thanks to a 326 PPI display, a much faster processor, and a variety of other reasons. I guess even Apple acknowledges this given the naming convention of going from 4 to 4s. Not enough of a change to warrant iPhone 5.
This is just like the iPhone 3G > iPhone 3GS transition. Doing a new enclosure every year would be pretty taxing, so they take a year off. Incremental hardware improvements meanwhile. The funny bit is they barely needed to do this much — iPhone 4 was still selling steadily.
I own a Blackberry 9700 which was a nice phone when it came out but have been underwhelmed by the 9780 and in some ways even the 9900 (no autofocus camera, no UMA). That's why it's the first thing I thought of.
I think I would prefer an iPhone if it were on T-mobile or if not that, at least the option to buy an unlocked iPhone at a reasonable price that worked at reasonable speed on T-mobile. Not so with today's announcements. An iPhone 3G can be purchased unlocked for $375, or an iPhone 4 for $549 but both are very slow on T-mobile at EDGE data speeds.
An exciting announcement for me personally would not have been a new enclosure, but rather the ability to run on T-mobile at fast speeds, all at a reasonable price. Wishful thinking, I guess.
It has what I want. Improved camera (especially image stabilization in video mode), and faster at loading games (and probably useful apps too). I don't care much about Siri, but then I didn't realize how amazing Maps was on a mobile phone until I had it myself.
I suppose I also had a good idea about what would be announced thanks to MacRumors accurate reporting, so I wasn't let down that the phone is called 4S instead of 5 (besides, I love the iPhone 4 external design).
I never used voice recognition on mobile until my wife picked up an Atrix and there was a little mic button on the home screen, I clicked it and said direction to Hatteras Flats and it pulled up Google's turn by turn navigation. From that day on, I have been waiting for that level of voice recognition to come to the iPhone. I would have never though that it would have been such a killer feature and now I feel like I am in the stone ages without it. To the point that I was considering switching if IOS 5 did not have it.
most people bought the iPhone 4 on a 24 month contract, those people probably wont by the iPhone 4S due to the high cost of early termination fees for little gain. (of course some people will which is just a bonus).
This cycle is pretty clever as it pretty much guarentees majority of iPhone 4 holders will upgrade to iPhone 5, whilst simaltanously giving a decent bump in sales to people who have had there friends talking up the iPhone 4 for a year a chance to one-up them.
I'm one of them and I don't see a compelling enough reason to upgrade at this point (iPhone or Android). Siri looks interesting, but it's not a feature worth locking myself into another 24 month contract for.
All the Australian networks are moving to 4G, so IMO it's a good time to wait for the next gen of LTE handsets. As with the original iPhone, I suspect it was just too early for Apple to switch.