Yeah? Not quite sure where you're coming from here. I guess world wide (my part of the world anyway) the focus started to lift with iPhone 4. Leading up to it was when I got on board, and between that and the 4s was when I started seeing iPhones everywhere.
I can't say for sure what was leaked before previous versions, but I definitely didn't see articles in the local paper quoting bullsh*t rumours as if they were fact like we see now.
Even for the 4 though there was so much that was known beforehand. It is possible though that if the prototype in the bar incident didn't happen the new design would've been secret until reveal.
The 5 certainly wasn't. There were headlines in tech news in the weeks before saying about the 4" screen, then when it was revealed as rumoured the press (or the tech "experts" they interview for opinions) were blasé.
That, and the expectation that a 5" screen is needed to stay relevant. The common news last year was "no surprises here, and still lagging behind big screen android phones".
Meanwhile reviewers loved it, and they sold more than any other phone had ever sold in history....
Sure, there's a few crap rumours which mostly stem from financial analysts expectations of tech products...
But even though we don't work for Apple, and I "know absolutely nothing whatsoever about the device"... Do you honestly expect there to be much different announced next week than the leaks?
Do we get to impose a penalty on you if you're wrong? (Maybe a month ban on using your favourite short phrases/replies?)
Don't get me wrong - I'd love to be surprised - if anything it pisses me off that everyone feels like they know so much at this stage.