We all know the iPhone is big business, but exactly how big? According to an Apple insider, the company is preparing to crank out up to 45 million of the handsets in the next year.

The Apple sneak told BusinessWeek magazine that between 40 and 45 million 3G iPhones are in the pipeline to meet demand from existing markets and the 20 countries in the second stage of the launch.

Problems await

When China and Russia come online, as well as the new source of Best Buy in the US, it's clear that demand for the phone will surge, but there are problems.

Not least of these is the notorious problem with maintaining a connection to a 3G network. Apple is rumoured to be working on this and also on speeding up the activation process for new phones.