The launch of a new iPhone long ago passed from mere product introduction into the realm of cultural phenomena. Still, underneath all the hype, the iPhone 5 really is just a new smartphone. A terrific new smartphone.
Arriving in Apple stores Sept. 21, the new model lacks any single gee-whiz breakthrough, like the Siri voice assistant introduced with the iPhone 4S. But the new version brings it up-to-date in a host of areas, particularly speed, without sacrificing the things that made it special in the first place.