But the *first* underwhelming iPhone release went on to be their best selling phone, and that had even *fewer* changes than the iPhone it succeeded. As far as I can see, the prices have remained the same: a hair's width above 'outrageous'. Given the deal they get on components, they can certainly afford to shave off a few quid.
Steve Jobs? The time Apple takes to design a product means that he not only was hands-on on this model, but also the 'S' version that will be released next year.
Haven't had a look at the cable, but if it can only be used for syncing and charging then I can see a lot of car owners switching to a different phone.
My comment about pricing was based on the initial press release, which seemed to imply a price of $199 without a contract (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/09/12Apple-Introduces-iPhone-5.html), which spelled highly competitive to me. The Apple Store clarifies that point, so scratch that.
Nobody said that the iPhone 5 is half bad, or that the 4S was; what they lacked, IMHO, is any wow factor at launch. Siri went close, but expectations were just too high for that to suffice. This time there isn't even that; it's a great phone, but I would be hard pressed to find a single reason (*the* single reason) to want one. Except it's an iPhone, of course, and that will be more than enough for a lot of people.