Apple Talk: OK, no iPhone 5 - but why no high fives for the iPhone 4S?

For some, the 4S just doesn't have the same ring as the iPhone 5...

...the precedent of an incremental upgrade cycle that began with the 3G to 3GS iteration.

The Apple faithless will claim the 4S is a dead duck, a lame approach. They think Apple is doomed and will shortly be overtaken by HTC, Samsung and other competitors.

New Apple CEO Tim Cook

New Apple CEO Tim Cook inevitably attracted criticism simply for not being Steve JobsPhoto: Kent German/CNET

Apple's 'problem' is that its phones have a branding nomenclature that makes sense and indicates a sense of progression, albeit one limited by letters and liberated by numbers.

So what does the iPhone 4S feature? A dual-core A5 chip, so the speed is the same as the iPad 2, an eight-megapixel camera with a range of new hardware and software features, including 1,080-pixel video. It also features Siri, a voice-enabled digital assistant that supposedly performs a wide range of actions.

Is the iPhone 4 really an outdated slab of a phone? No. Despite not being updated for over a year, Apple still reported record sales of the device last quarter. Personally, the iPhone 4 design still looks new in a way the 3GS never did.

I've never understood the need for innovation to be determined by a physical design, especially when technology is so driven by software.

In addition to the new physical features of the 4S, there's also iOS 5 launching at the same time as the 4S, as well as the ambitious iCloud services. Still gloomy?

Second prediction: Tim Cook would take some criticism for not being Steve Jobs.

As the silicon.com Weekly Round-Up pointed out last week: "Cook is a much quieter figure than the charismatic Jobs, who's a very tough act to follow. A bit like the challenge Paul Rodgers had following Freddie Mercury in Queen."

It was an intimate performance on a small stage. He fluffed a couple of lines.

What did people expect? They know Tim Cook. He's a softly spoken operations wizard, not a circus ringmaster. Was he meant to fly around the stage on wires, making facts and features explode in 3D in brand-new keynote transitions that Apple so resolutely refuses to deliver in a new version of iWork?

The event followed a format Apple has used for years. He topped and tailed an event with other senior VPs filling in on product announcements. It's true he didn't say, "Boom" very much but if he had he'd have sounded silly.

The script remains the same. All that's changed is the delivery. At one point he was talking about the iPod and said: "It not only revolutionised the way we all listened to music but it revolutionised the whole music industry."

I've heard Jobs use an almost identical statement at a previous event.

The words are the same, the presentation is the same, like some kind of Jobsian template. It's just not Jobs delivering it. Get used to it.

The iPhone 4S is a solid update to a wildly successful product. Apple's only problem is that solid is not good enough for some.

For many, it must be revolution every time and not evolution. That Apple has decided not to pander to the masses over its iPhone branding is a credit both to its marketing strategy and its confidence.

All of which leads us on to the third prediction: Apple will sell tens of millions of iPhone 4S units. I'm sticking by this one.