iPhone 5: What the hell is going on?

Apple showed off today the follow-up to the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S. What many were also expecting to see today was a new iPhone 5 in addition to the 4S. It seems a bit baffling that Apple didn't show off a new iPhone that kept even remotely close to the iPhone 5 rumors as there was an incredible amount of "leaks" around the device, which all amounted to nothing, so far.

The most confusing bit is all of the iPhone 5 cases that hit retail 1, 2, 3 or that the iPhone 5 had shown up in many inventory systems. While it could be possible that companies were jumping the gun on putting the iPhone 5 into their systems, both iterations had shown up on multiple websites. Even Al Gore, who sits on Apple's board talked about iPhones (yes plural), although it is not clear if that was mentioning multiple models, 4S and 5, or different models meaning color and storage options.

And then one of the biggest bits of information, the rumor that Sprint is forking over $20 billion dollars for the iPhone seems a little unpalatable with just the 4S. This seems a bit off considering that the device is not the next and greatest but more of a warmed over iPhone 4 with a couple cool new applications. Finally, the reshaped iPhone 5 rumors date all the way back to April, with the teardrop shape being first reported.  Something seems fishy...

So here we are, the iPhone 4S has launched, no NFC, no LTE, no WiMax, we have boatloads of rumors, leaked cases, a full blown mockup, Sprint tossing out 20 billion dollars for no exclusivity of anything and still no iPhone 5. Not to mention about 50 minutes of the keynote was information shown off at WDC and was a re-hash of previously presented information; very un-Apple like. 

Could Apple be waiting to for more efficient LTE technology, was there a slip in production that caused Apple to delay the iPhone 5, or was the iPhone 5 a massive assumption built off of rumors and propelled by the media? While the real answer will never be known, all the hype around the iPhone 5 and leaked information/products made it seem as if Apple was ready to launch, but then didn't.

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