What does this mean? It's unlikely to mean that Apple users are less interested in new phones: it's about AT&T's upgrade policy. AT&T changed its upgrade policy in January 2011, but it gave everyone one more year to upgrade. So it did not apply to the iPhone 4s, at the time.
That policy appears to be affecting sales. You can't upgrade your phone with a subsidy every year. Now it's 18 months, or more likely two years. Not a statement on the state of the economy.
You want a new phone, you have to pay $600. Want a subsidized, $200 iPhone? See you in two years.
Elsewhere, this is the big week for earnings.
1) Of 16 large companies reporting since the close yesterday, 14 have beat. (You can see CNBC.com's complete earnings coverage here.)
Lots of generally good earnings from my favorite companies: big, global industrials and materials.
Illinois Tool Works, 3M, U.S. Steel, United Technologies, Paccar, and Parker Hannifin all beat. Illinois Tool Works and Parker Hannifin raised 2012 estimates, 3M raised the low end of the guidance range, and that range is above consensus. United Technologies affirmed its 2012 sales and earnings per share outlook.
There is a pattern here: Ingersoll Rand, Eaton, and Honeywell have all reported strong numbers. Europe is a problem, but earnings are still strong.