There is no such thing as magic.
Apple does not, has never, released major innovations every year.
Not everyone buys a new phone every year (like myself) and perhaps this “boring” release is an upgrade to them from a 5 or a 5S?
At the end of the day there is only such much you can do with the form factor of a phone.
The camera on a smartphone is the most important part to me so it’s a major factor in my regular upgrades. I do not want to lug my DLSR around with me on trips anymore and the phone takes the kind of pictures I’m looking for.
Is this a holding pattern year for Apple? Clearly. Next year is the 10th anniversary so if you’re holding out the next one is going to be something special.