Forbes Analyst: 10 Million iPhones? Good Luck

Taesik Yoon, an analyst over at Forbes, rolls off why investors shouldn't gleefully pump money into Apple stock betting on the iPhone to return their investment in gold bullion. A lot of it's familiar—high price point, ill fit with the smart phone market despite its potential growth—but some of it's a bit newish.

For one, even if it does blow up the smart phone market, that market is less than 10 percent of the total mobile market, and much of its growth has been spurred, in fact, by cheaper smart phones.

The other point is that even though the "new AT&T" has nearly 70 million subs, the iPhone's only going to grab new or renewing customers—it doesn't necessarily have access to that whole base. Yoon speculates that this exclusivity could be a way for Apple to draw envious eyes while working out the kinks, before rolling it out in a broader fashion, much like it did with the original iPod.

Regardless, his best point, which gets at the real question of how successful the iPhone can or will be, is that "a product, no matter how promising, can easily fail to live up to expectations if the market is just not there."

Is the market there? If so, where—between smart and high-end phones, or in an altogether heretofore undefined one in the US? Can Apple simply create the market if it doesn't already exist?

Beware Apple's iPhone Froth [Forbes via iLounge]