R.W. Baird & Co. analyst William Power says in a note to clients — as reported by “All Things D” (http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20110127/verizon-iphone-sales-potentially-huger-than-huge/) — that 23.8 million Verizon iPhones may be sold during their first year of availability.

Power says this is a “directional number” and not a forecast, adding that a recent Baird survey of 1,000 smartphone users support his prediction. According to the survey:

° Twenty-nine percent of current Verizon feature phone owners said they will “probably” or “definitely” upgrade to the Verizon iPhone in the next three months. The carrier has roughly 64 million postpaid feature phone users, so that’s 19 million potential iPhone upgrades, assuming eligibility.

° Twenty-five percent of Verizon’s current smartphone users said they will “probably” or “definitely” switch to the iPhone. That’s 4.8 million additional potential iPhone sales, again assuming eligibility.

That’s a grand total of 23.8 million potential Verizon iPhone sales — from the carrier’s installed base alone, notes “All Things D.” Add to that the 5.6% of current AT&T iPhone users who told Baird they planned to switch to Verizon and that number rises to nearly 25 million, the article adds.