In a few hours, Apple plans to introduce the iPhone 5 (according to several sources).  And I am wondering why this announcement is so eagerly awaited!  The press has been buzzing for ages about this new device, and making predictions of when in September/October the new phone would be released.  My guess is that lines are starting to form in front of stores (I’m at a conference and no where near an Apple store to check it out myself.)  For some reason this impending announcement is being treated like the release of a new Harry Potter story.

Hey, folks, its a phone, OK?  The fact is that I’m still using my 3GS.  I never moved to the iPhone 4 because my contract was still in the no-upgrade period.  Yes, I will get an iPhone 5 because I want a front-facing camera for video chats, etc.  I’m sure the new device will have some cool features, but this is a characteristic of many new technologies.

Apple’s genius is in getting people foaming at the mouth over every new device they bring to market, whether it is groundbreaking or not.  Take the iPad 2.  This (long overdue) upgrade of the original iPad still falls short of what Apple should have done, yet lines stretched around the block as people clamored to get their hands on the latest Apple gizmo.  And yet, a few weeks ago when Sony began shipping their new “S” tablet, there were no lines in front of Best Buy, even though the Sony tablet beats the iPad 2 by any measure imaginable.  It is beautiful, the screen is gorgeous, the operation is great, and the tablet can easily be connected to other devices, memory cards, etc.

It turns out that the Apple mystique is so powerful that if Steve Jobs had written the phone book, he would get the Nobel Prize in literature.

Will I get the iPhone 5?  Yes, of course.  I need to understand all the popular devices, and this one is on the list.  Will I stand in line to get one?  Not on your life.