Apple’s fortunes are and have for a long time been boom-and-bust based on shipments. Apple ships a new iPhone. They dominate the market for a few months. Sales level off again, then the air gets sucked out of the room when everybody starts anticipating the next iPhone model. Right now we’re in the post-iPhone 5, pre-iPhone 5S doldrums.
This is definitely a symptom of the one year release cycle. In combination with the iPad mini and revised iPad at the same time in late fall, the journalists have nothing to look forward to which is damaging the Apple cycle.
But I think the cycle is also picking up on an undercurrent. The hardware Apple makes is great but the software is mediocre at best and crippled at worst. iOS is not stale, but it is reminiscent of Windows XP when the world moved onto greener pastures somewhere else — just because it works doesn’t mean it looks great and works.