About that “boring” iPhone 5 launch

In case you missed the news, Apple introduced a new iPhone this week. And for its trouble, the Cupertino, Calif., company has been getting dinged by tech writers for insufficiently stunning the audience. Wired’s Mat Honan spoke for many in a post that, while complimenting the iPhone 5’s advances over the iPhone 4S, handed down a final verdict of “boring.”

But what, exactly, is a company going to do to wow spectators with its fifth incremental update to a product that debuted in the long-ago era of 2007? Short of stunts involving guys in wingsuits, it’s hard to distract an audience from the fact that the smartphone is a maturing, evolving product. Breakthrough innovations don’t come as quickly as they once did. And in some areas, such as power, they don’t seem to be happening at all.

(To any journalists tempted to critique Apple for allowing more of the iPhone 5’s details to leak: What’s wrong with you? Speaking as somebody who can’t count on getting too much attention from the company–it didn’t issue me a press pass to Tuesday’s event–that’s not a bug, that’s a feature!)

Oh, and one more thing: Since Apple didn’t spend weeks and months hyping the next iPhone’s arrival, just where might everybody have gotten the idea that this new model would represent a next level of game-changing awesomeness? Could it possibly have been the sites (most of my past and present outlets included) that have been running speculative next-iPhone posts since this spring? Think about that for a minute.