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iPhone sales soar as new iPods near

Analysts predict huge demand in first year

Analysts are predicting huge sales of the Apple iPhone, as well as major product introductions in the latter half of 2007.

RBC Capital analysts now anticipate 13.5 million iPhone sales by the end of 2008, with Apple planning to produce 8 million of the devices by the end of 2007 - well ahead of Steve Jobs' target of ten million sales by the end of 2008.

According to financial website, Seeking Alpha, Apple's future iPhone product plans may include larger memory (16GB), lower prices and a 3G-capable handset by spring next year.

RBC Capital also expects an updated iPod nano, a new iPod model and a new video iPod in the fourth quarter 2007, with some models potentially integrating features debuted on the iPhone.

It's not all iPods and iPhones. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is telling clients he is "80 per cent" certain Apple will launch a re-designed iMac this summer.

The analyst predicts an ultra-portable MacBook Pro and also anticipates that iPods running Mac OS X are on their way, reports MacNN.

And at Blackfriars Marketing, analyst Aric Winton speculates that the popularity of the iPhone may force Microsoft to abandon its dependence on proprietary systems.

He argues that Microsoft's control of the desktop has given it a chance to keep mobile users locked into its technologies, such as Exchange or Windows Media.

He notes the iPhone to be based on mainly open standards, and believes Microsoft will have to respond to Apple's threat.

The analyst notes approximately four million mobile phones running Windows Mobile were shipped last year.

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