You vastly underestimate the importance of retaining or even gaining a slight market share by preempting an iPhone launch. This isn't about abandoned stores on launch day for the iPhone. Of course there will always be lines, but those folks also probably were in line a year ago for the iPhone 4. You're thinking in vague generalities. If the iPhone launch sales slide by a few %, that's a win, and you're NOT going to see that level of detail in the mass hysteria because those are the crazies that probably have 2 of everything with an apple on it in their homes.