in the 12 weeks ended 7 August
IOS (x) is updated regularly anyway, and the release cycle is fairly standard for Apple, so the new 4s variant is nothing to do with catching up but the normal cycle they have had since the first one.
If anyone is playing catchup, its the others, Apple set the format, style, interface and the rest are joining in. Im not saying that others are worse, or better, just following a growing trend.
Often a dedicated OS on dedicated hardware can play dividends as programmers we can leverage as much out of what we have available, without having to worry about different hardware (which is what you say is a benefit).
You say on paper, either its better or its not, anyone can write specs on paper and it seem better.
A large proportion of people who "jailbreak" a phone, and who overclock a pc, do it without the full understanding of how and why, and get varying results dependent on their skills and the applications you are trying to boost..
Think about the number of numpties who put huuge spoilers, exhausts and wheels on a 1.1 fiesta, does it make positive difference on performance?
Look at the numbers of Ipads (the OP's topic) used in business - look at the market share in that area the rest are poor cousins in comparison (the jury is out on the Kindle Fire, too new).