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Analyst: 45M iPhones in 2009

Despite issues with the iPhone 3G -- less-than-stellar battery life, dropped calls, crashes, etc. -- stock market analysts are very bullish on Apple's product.

BusinessWeek reported that Piper Jaffray tech analyst Gene Munster is forecasting sales of 13 million iPhone 3Gs in 2008, and a whopping 45 million on 2009. That's considerably higher than what other analysts are proposing, which is in the range of 11 million in 2008 and "only" 26 million in 2009.

The BusinessWeek article also mentioned Apple's new production goals point to 40 to 45 million handsets between now and August of 2009, which fits into Munster's forecast nicely. Of course, supply is only half of the picture. Demand for the 3G depends on Apple and carriers fixing issues quickly, decent rate plans from carriers, and killer apps in the App Store.

As Apple rolls into large and previously untouched markets such as Russia and China, forges deals with other retailers such as Best Buy, and works with developers to bring hot applications to the App Store, we'll see how the forecasts compare with reality.

How accurate do you think the projections are? Share your opinion in a comment.

Despite issues with the iPhone 3G -- less-than-stellar battery life, dropped calls, crashes, etc. -- stock market analysts are very bullish...