There's a key difference between this year's statement and last year's and it might explain why something felt off.
Last year Apple's statement was part of bigger press release. This year's statement wasn't a press release, just two sentences given to certain news outlets.
And last year's press release had numbers attached to it. Apple announced pre-orders of 1 million iPhone 4Ss, "the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched," as SVP of marketing Phil Schiller put it in the release.