Most analysts, or anyone else who judges a product’s success by sales numbers, would find it difficult to describe the iPhone 4S as anything else but a smash hit.

The handset, which Apple just started rolling out in mid-October, is already one of the year’s (if not the) best-selling smartphones. But that didn’t stop the folks at tecca from naming the device one of the year’s biggest tech flops…

Taylor Hatmaker of tecca, a popular tech blog, ranks Apple’s “disappointing” handset as 2011’s third biggest technology flop in her list of 6. Here’s her explanation:

“While it’s no flop when it comes to sales figures, the iPhone 4S remains one of 2011’s biggest consumer letdowns. Earlier this year, Apple’s iPad 2 upped its predecessor’s appeal considerably, sliming the original slate down while speeding it up — but it’s tough to not be disappointed by the iconic company’s most recent handset. Apple’s newest iteration of the iPhone is certainly nothing to sneeze at — it’s still one of the fastest, best looking smartphones on the block — but it’s no iPhone 5. After spending the better part of the year salivating over a reinvented iphone with a larger screen, a thinner profile, and other untold Apple-flavored wonders, Apple aficionados were presented with the iPhone 4S — a nominal upgrade over the previous model that touted the now much-parodied Siri app as its main selling point.”

While we admit that we were among those crossing our fingers that Tim Cook would walk out on stage with a revamped iPhone 5 in hand this past October, we still feel inclined to disagree.

Listing the iPhone 4S as a failure because it didn’t live up to the rumor mill hype is ridiculous. Apple never made an announcement, or gave the impression that it would be releasing a revamped handset this year. In fact, all it takes is a look back at the company’s handset history to see how unlikely a revamp was for 2011.

So if the iPhone 4S is not a flop, as Hatmaker mentions, in sales (the iPhone 4S has broken a number of sales records). And its hardware isn’t second to many other handsets (its camera, processor, and screen resolution are as good if not better than the competition). Why is it even on the list?