I think the issue with the media and the "analysts" is basically that Apple is an unconventional company.
Apple has ALWAYS done things differently and not listened to the pack. The analysts wanted a cheap phone, but Apple does not DO cheap. This is netbooks all over again. The only difference is that when the netbooks phase was happening, the Apple CEO was Steve Jobs, and by virtue of his LONG and extremely SUCCESSFUL track record, the analysts knew that only they would look stupid by questioning Jobs (especially since Apple was making record profits while not listening to the analysts...sounds familiar?).
With Tim Cook (and all the other executives) in charge (who have an equally long track record of success but are not revered in hte media like Jobs was) they feel more empowered questioning successful strategies by Apple.
Basically, the analysts absolutely know what Apple is doing is wrong, because obviously a normal company would have released a $49 off contract POS loss leader already, and so the fact that the evidence shows them to be wrong is only proof that reality is at fault.
Which is why they can publish an article with the headline "Why record sales are bad news" and still have any credibility left.