First, about the kvetches. Why did it take Apple longer than usual to come out with this phone? Yes, it's true I am not an insider and not in the know, but with some knowledge of what it takes to bring a product to market, I can speculate.
- New camera redesign - this is totally redesigned not only to perform, but to perform well. It is fast - the time it takes to snap 2 photos is less than to take 1 with the next closest competitor phone (in speed), with amazing clarity and beauty of picture. For example, what's the difference between my Canon EOS digital rebel with 6MB, that it can blow away pictures taken by a newer 10MB Panasonic camera? Optics - it's all in the optics.
- Complete redesign of the interior - this means a LOT of testing to meet quality standards. It has to work, and work flawlessly, or they will catch a lot of flack. All the internal changes, means they have to test it out thoroughly.
- Siri. In one word, this is revolutionary. Think about it. It is not just voice recognition ("command: Text Julie Come pick me up" ala Vlingo). It is speech recognition - it understands when you say "do I need an umbrella today?" to check and see if it is raining. Did you see the guy jogging, and saying to move the appointment to 12, no 2? This is not the spoken command recognition we've had up until now, this is truly futuristic technology.
- Think about the advantages of NOT changing the shape - all the accessories built for the iPhone 4 will work with the 4S. Truly, what's wrong with keeping the shape? One little thing, I would like a bigger screen, but then again - pretty soon it becomes an "iPad Mini".