After a year of rumors and built up expectations for a device prematurely labeled the “iPhone 5,” Apple only teased the masses further by delaying their usual summer release of a new phone until Fall 2011.  And based on the media and Apple’s focus on this event for the past few months (not to mention the extra 3 months to devote to design), the assumed result was something astonishing. Then yesterday, on October 4th, Apple gathered the leaders of the tech world to its headquarters in Cupertino to unveil… The iPhone 4S?!?
Although Apple may have disappointed millions of iPhone 4 users expecting a new iPhone 5, there are still a number of reasons yesterday was a big day for Apple.  We have seen this move before, going from the 3G to the 3GS, and in both cases significant advancements have been made.  In both upgrades Apple implemented both faster innards as well as a better camera.  In addition, Apple introduced “Siri” – the first “intelligent” voice-controlled assistant, which has apparently been outperforming any and all expectations so far.  The last piece of news, and possibly the most impactful, was only heard in a very brief mention by CEO Tim Cook: “…and for the first time, Sprint.”  This is great news for both Sprint customers and Apple alike, as Sprint offers over 35 million customers and one of the better 4G networks to-date, and Apple bestows upon the Sprint community the bestselling smartphone in the world. 
So, did Apple succeed in delivering a new iPhone that leaves the masses awestruck? Maybe not.  But they did make some very big improvements on the iPhone 4, and gained the Sprint community and a large new chunk of the smartphone market…. Now, we can only sit back and speculate on what this means for when the iPhone 5 is finally debuted.