It looks like the high-end smartphone market is reaching the saturation point. A new analysis found that in 2012, 68 million people upgraded their phones in the United States. This was down 9 percent from the year before. Naturally, this is bad news for smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers, according to UBS AG.

This trend is already being felt at Samsung where Galaxy S IV sales have slowed, just a few weeks after the flagship device was first released. In addition, just last week, it was reported that the nation’s top carrier, Verizon Wireless, could owe Apple as much as $15.5 billion in 2013 to cover shrinking iPhone sales.

This brings us to the long-rumored budget iPhone, which is seen by many as the best way for Apple to ensure future growth. This is also one of the reasons that Cupertino is considering launching the so-called “iWatch” in 2014.

As usual, we’ll continue following these types of stories. As a reminder, the “iPhone 5S’ and “iPhone mini” are expected to launch in September or October.

See also: What Will Apple’s Budget iPhone Look Like? This Report Could Give You An IdeaFoxconn Said To Begin Shipping The First Budget iPhone Units To Apple, and Case Makers Are Gambling That Their Designs Match Those Of Apple.

Photo: iPhone mini Mockup by Martin Hajek