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Apple will be releasing the iPhone on Friday at 6pm...But, what if you don't want to wait?


Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Apple (AAPL) will sell 3.2 million iPhones in 2007, 12.4 million in 2008, and an astronomical 45 million of them in 2009.

"While this may seem like a bold prediction, we believe a number in this area is not as far of a reach as some may think. Specifically, to reach iPhone units of 45 million, we believe the product will have 7% handset market share in North America and 2.8% handset market share in the rest of the world," he told The Mac Observer.

"We assume street pricing on the iPhone will have dropped to $338 by CY '09 from $542 in CY '07. Additionally, it is critical to keep in mind that the iPhone will be a combo device, which will attract more than just a mobile phone customer."

Based on these figures, Munster is raising his target price for Apple from $140 to $160.

Apple will be releasing the iPhone on Friday at 6pm.

They'll be lining up for the iPhone

But, what if you don't want to wait?

Book a flight to China.

For the iPhone desperadoes out there, is advertising round-trip fares on Northwest between New York City and Shanghai starting at $1325.

Once there, you should be able to snap up as many iPhones as you want, at the bargain price of $140 each.

The Apple iPhone

Features include: a 2 megapixel camera for photos and movies in MPEG4 format, two SIM cards, WAP browser, 64MB of built-in memory, 256MB micro SD Card in an expansion slot, stereo speakers on the front face and two additional speakers on the back that boast "3D Sound", a USB connector, and a removable battery.

Hang on, the iPhone won't have a removable battery.

Or two SIM cards.

Or 64MB of memory-it'll be available with 4GB and 8GB.

Or four speakers.

What gives?

Well, this should come as a surprise to no one:

Knock-off iPhones are already on the market in China, well ahead of the official release of the real deal.

The iPhony

Just like a real tPhone-complete with backward logo

Counterfeit goods account for an estimated 15% to 20% of all products manufactured in China, according to Representative Donald Manzullo (R-IL), chairman of the House Committee on Small Business.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce show that counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy between $200 billion and $250 billion per year, and the world economy in the neighborhood of $650 billion per year.

On top of that, counterfeiting and piracy are directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs.

Representative Diane Watson (D-CA), says about 95% of all compact discs and DVDs manufactured in China are counterfeit.

Representative Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) says U.S. auto parts producers estimate they are losing $12 billion per year because of counterfeiting.

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) says the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has determined that domestic corporations in the automobile industry could hire another 250,000 American workers if sales of counterfeit car parts were eliminated.

Counterfeit car parts?

Kid stuff.

China prefers to go whole hog, counterfeiting entire cars:

The Honqi HQD…

…and its "inspiration", the Rolls-Royce Phantom

Honqi HQD too flashy for you? Maybe the Chevy, er, Chery pictured below would be more to your liking:

The Chevy Spark (left) and the Chery QQ (right)

At $15,000, is Daimler's Smart Car ForTwo too rich for your blood?

The Daimler Smart Car ForTwo

No problem-pick up a Chinese-made CMEC Smart Car Fortwo for $5250.

The CMEC Smart Car Fortwo

Before you return home with your new "iPhone", make sure you grab something to eat on your way to the airport-it's a long flight back to the States.

How about a little "KFC"?

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