I wouldn't just blame the economy...
All those who bought last year's uber-phone, and are still locked into a contract, aren't really going to be scratching at the doors this year for a new phone (crazed fanbois of all flavours excluded of course).
Why? Well if you have last year's iPhone4 or HTC DesireHD etc, what can't you do that this year's phone could? Ummmm... Yes, now you see the problem. Common sense has killed the sales (hence I excluded the fanbois).
There just isn't a killer feature for the new phones. So what if it can scan RFID tags, you've got to find one to scan first of all! So that's not going to do it. The webbrowser from last year still works fine, it loads up in a second, so maybe I could save 0.5seconds by spending £400 this year, then again, maybe I'll just blink instead.
I'm still happy with my Desire Z, which just sneaks into the "last year's phone" bracket. I feel no need to buy a sensation, although I have played with one, it's a nice phone, and all very pretty, but there is no "must have" extra.
In fact, barring a sudden, unexpected invention of something even Apple hasn't thought to patent, I can't see why I would need anything more than what I currently have in my pocket.
There is one big exception, it's the huge elephant in the room. The one killer feature which would make me buy a new phone... 3 days of real use from one charge... That would do it! A feat which my old Nokia N95 could do, even my N97 could do it, although that wasn't really real use, as it spent half the time crashing and rebooting!