> Apple can afford to do one handset per year because they are the media darling and can virtually guarantee favourable publicity: had any other product had the same flaws as those in the Apple maps product, reviewers would have been scathing and the product swiftly withdrawn, but instead everyone makes excuses for the company and it still gets 9-out-of-10 scores.
This is true now, but wasn't necessarily true (and certainly not to the same extent) when they launched the iPhone in mid-2007. At the time, people were saying that the iPhone was useless because it didn't feature a replaceable battery, or extendable memory (e.g. SD).
Say what you like about Apple, but they earned their position through consistently brilliant execution (iOS6 maps notwithstanding). Nokia once had that position — who said anything bad about a Nokia phone in 2005? — but utterly, utterly wasted it.