5" iPhone a bad signal? Think MacBook Air 11

People say that Apple making a 5" iPhone would mean that the company isn't innovating anymore, but rather following the competition. And we should worry a lot.
Think about the laptop market. Apple said NetBooks were bad. Good at anything. All the manufacturers launched products from 7" to 11".
Then Apple launched the MacBook Air 11. After everybody else. Late to the party. And what happened? The MacBook Air 11 has become the benchmark, the standard of ultrabooks. The one to copy. NetBooks died, disappeared from the shelves, because of the tablets, the MBA, Windows XP/Starter, choose the reason you want.
At that time did serious people criticize Apple for following the trend?