Continuing on the engineering elegance idea, IMHO it shows Apple really understands their phones will only be popular if users love them, not from specs. Others want to be able to advertise the latest multi core (dual, quad, whatever) at high clock speeds. Apple has consciously given up the ability to make that claim by developing their own internal SoC and not advertising specs.
Designing their own SoC also allowed them to engineer much better memory bandwidth (among other things), which the typical user doesn't even know about but in fact it's a greater contributor to performance, possibly, than CPU! Anandtech says: "Some of the largest performance improvements .... appear here in the memory results." and "The gains here are huge and are likely directly embodied in the performance claims that Apple made at the iPhone 5 launch event. Many smartphone workloads (under Android, iOS and Windows Phone despite what Microsoft may tell you) are still very CPU bound. Big increases in integer performance (which come from both memory and CPU) will be apparent in application level improvements."
So in reality, if the iPhone 5 proves to be the fastest, as AnandTech said it's because of design not consumer/media-digestible raw specs - it's likely a dual 1 GHZ CPU that won't impress anyone as leap-frogging the industry. Yet because of design, it's the fastest out there.
Apple will get no credit for this other than users that are very happy with the responsiveness of their phone - and that it allows them to do this in a thinner, cooler, less power-hungry phone (other things users care about). When you get your phone and you are comparing to your friend's Android, bring up IOS 6 maps and do a flyover mode and see how it compares to their phone's flyover-map.