Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi — you know, the “analyst” who couldn’t find Apple’s “missing” iPhones on his first try — is back for more.

As reported by MarketWatch’s Rex Crum, in a report issued today, Sacconaghi wrote, “While we believe the iPhone has the potential to drive material earnings growth for Apple, recent data points suggest the business is facing two significant challenges: (1) overall demand for the handset appears to be falling short of expectations; and (2) the incidence of ‘unlocking’ has been much higher than expected.”

Crum reports, “Sacconaghi pointed to the fact that Apple’s iPhone sales averaged 180,000 units a week in the last quarter of 2007, which historically is Apple’s busiest business period of the year. Based on that estimate, Saccohaghi forecasts that Apple should sell 7.9 million iPhones in 2008.”

“‘Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year is optimistic, particularly if Apple insists on carrier revenue sharing without significant price cuts or new model introductions,’ Sacconaghi said,” Crum reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This Sacconaghi character obviously couldn’t analyze his ass from his elbow even with a full-length mirror.

What are the chances that:
• Apple will introduce new iPhone model(s) in 2008 (with the 3G holy grail, no less, so “analysts” like Toni will then have to gin up new/old things to complain about like built-in batteries or cases that scratch when you drop them on cement or something equally inane)?
• Apple will debut iPhone in additional countries in 2008?
• Apple will adjust iPhone pricing in 2008 (especially as new model debut(s) and storage bump(s) occur)?
• Apple’s imminent iPhone SDK release will positively impact iPhone sales in 2008?

High, high, high, and high. Yet, Toni acts like the current iPhone models being sold in the current four countries (US, UK, France, and Germany) at their current prices are all we’ll see in 2008, so if you do the math like a fool who lives in some weird, totally static world and who thinks past performance is directly indicative of future results, Apple won’t sell 10 million iPhone units in 2008.

Is Toni Sacconaghi just abjectly stupid and really bad at his job or does he just hate Apple for some reason? Or is Toni’s issue with AAPL something else entirely?

MacDailyNews Note: To make this perfectly clear, Apple’s publicly-stated goal is 10 million iPhone units in 2008 alone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in his Macworld Expo 2007 keynote address that Apple would set the goal of selling 10 million iPhone units in 2008, the first full year on the market (Macworld Expo 2007 iPhone Introduction: Jobs’ remarks on iPhone goals begin at 1:15:52 into the QuickTime video). On July 25, 2007, during Apple’s conference call discussing Q3 – 2007 financial results, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer reiterated Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhone units in 2008 (Apple’s Q3 07 Apple Quarterly Results Call: Oppenheimer’s remarks on iPhone goals begin at 6:05 into the QuickTime audio stream).