In the days before the iPhone becomes available, there is considerable buzz. No one knows if the AT&T stores will have enough iPhone on hand to sell on the 29th. One thing that does appear to be certain, however, is the mathematics of the cell phone business: the market is 12 times bigger than the iPod market. The affect on Appleis numbers in a few years could be shocking, according to analyst Gene Munster.
USA Today took a look at the numbers game for Apple on Wednesday. Appleis share of the home computer market has gone from 3.2 percent in May 2004 to 7.6 percent in May 2007. Apple has sold 100 million iPods and 2.5 billion songs. Harvard University business professor David Yoffie believes that Apple has received an estimated US$400M in free publicity surrounding the iPhone.
The next wave is the looming reality of the mobile phone market. Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster said, "The wireless industry is 12 times the size of the digital music player market that Apple dominates. The total audience for cellphones is so huge, itis shocking what it does to Appleis numbers."
Charles Wolf, an independent analyst, sees Apple selling 100 million phones a year within 10 years. In the near term, Mr. Munster sees iPhone sales doubling Appleis size, from about US$24B in annual revenue to $42B. [That difference alone is about 36 million phones or less than 4 percent of the total market.]
The conclusion was sobering, "Tech analysts are downright giddy about the potential of the iPhone and what it means to Apple."