Hartmut Esslinger ran a design firm that helped design products for Sony, until he signed an exclusive deal with Apple in 1982. He then went on to work directly with Steve Jobs to create the "design language" that would define the Macintosh computer for about a decade. So, Esslinger has first hand knowledge when he likens the Apple of today to Sony in the 80s. By that, he means that Apple has replaced an innovative leader with one who is only worried about refining current products and increasing profit rather than trying something new.
Given that the iPhone 5c is a blatant attempt to increase the profit margin of Apple's mid-range offering, its hard to argue that point. Although, on the other hand, true innovation is a very difficult thing to do, and mostly amounts to being able to sell a new product to the public, which was really Jobs' strength.