Jenny Lai, an analyst at CLSA Emerging Markets wrote in a report that Apple could sell as many as 18 million new iPhones this year. Lai covers news surrounding Hon Hai Precision Industry, Apple's iPhone manufacturing partner in China.
"The higher expectation on the 3G iPhone reflects attractive prices and a broader distribution channel (availability [in about] 70 countries)," she wrote.
Considering the year will be more than half over when the new iPhones are available in stores, this is (in my opinion) a pretty aggressive six-month target. (I'm no financial analyst, though.) According to a Dow Jones interview, six million iPhones have been sold since their introduction last year.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster agrees, saying that 12 million units this year "now looks like a lay-up." For 2009, Munster projects Apple could sell 45 million handsets. Compare that to the popular Motorola RAZR, which has sold 50 million units since 2005.