Shaw Wu of Kauffman Bros. believes that Apple could have sold between 2 million and 2.5 million iPhones had that many units been available. AppleInsider reports that he predicts Apple will sell 9 million iPhones in the June quarter and 40 million in 2010.
In related news, iSuppli said this week that Apple's failure to meet demand could be an opportunity for other manufacturers, as frustrated would-be iPhone owners give up. "Consumers, questioning Apple's supply chain management capability, have started to look for alternative devices," wrote Tina Teng, senior analyst for wireless communications at iSuppli.
Sure, some potential customers might abandon the iPhone in frustration, but enough to make a significant dent in Apple's bottom line? I doubt it. Those who really want one will eventually buy. If people are willing to stand in a sweltering line for 10 hours, a few weeks of waiting in a comfortably air-conditioned house is no biggie.