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New iPhone5 could boost US GDP

The sales forecast for the iPhone5 looks huge, so huge that it may boost the US gross domestic product by as much as .5 percent.

Iphone5 2012 07 29Enlarge
A fully assembled version of what Apple's iPhone 5 could look like. (iLab/Screengrab)

The sales forecast for the iPhone5 looks huge, so huge that it may boost the US gross domestic product by as much as .5 percent. 

Michael Feroli, of JP Morgan, released a statement saying, "We believe the release of iPhone 5 could potentially add between 1/4 to 1/2 percent-point to fourth quarter annualized GDP growth." 

Feroli came to this conclusion by making the assumption that Apple will sell 8 million units in the fourth quarter. 

Feroli has no way of knowing how much the iPhone5 will retail for, but he did estimate it to be around $600, or on par with previous iPhone launch prices. 

Feroli deduces that sales of the new iPhone5 could boost GDP by $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter, or $12.8 billion annually. That is equal to .33 of a percentage point in the annualized rate of GDP growth, the Wall Street Journal noted.

"This estimate seems fairly large, and for that reason should be treated skeptically. However, we think the recent evidence is consistent with this projection," Feroli added. 

The evidence Feroli mentions is the better than expected sales of the iPhone4s, which vastly outperformed expectations. 

Forbes noted one caveat in Feroli's prediction is that Feroli predicts that consumers will purchase the iPhone5 in conjunction with their already planned purchases. If people divert $600 from their budgets to use for a new iPhone, than any additional growth will be null and void. 

Another problem may be importing the iPhone5 to the US at all. Forbes reported that Apple is under an ongoing investigation by the the International Trade Commission after the Taiwanese company HTC filed a complaint in August 2011. Apple may have violated an HTC patent for connecting to the 4G network, something that is rumored to be one of iPhone5's largest improvements. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120912/new-iphone5-could-boost-us-gdp