The iPhone 5 and US GDP

It’s a brave new world, my friends – we’ve reached a point in time where the launch of a particularly anticipated product can measurably impact the economy of the largest country in the world.

You’re probably sick of hearing about Apple, Inc. at this point – what, between them becoming the largest company in the history of the world and launching the iPhone 5, you’re a bit Apple sick.  Well – just this one more piece, okay?

United States GDP

In 2011, the United State’s official Gross Domestic Product was $15.09 trillion.  That’s ‘T’rillion, with a T… as in a number that barely double digit numbers of other countries have reached with their GDPs.  However, like a company reporting results publicly, GDP is reported per quarter – so when the BEA releases their reports you see quarter over quarter and quarter over the year ago quarter.  But think about the size of quarterly GDP – you’re talking (roughly – there are seasonal differences) about ~ $3.75 trillion.  So .1% growth on that would be $3.75375 trillion – every percentage point is around $3.75 billion in GDP.

Now that you know the scope of a GDP increase and the high amount of actual production required to make significant change, let’s look at the iPhone 5.

Michael Feroli at J.P. Morgan took a look at the predicted sales of the iPhone.  Their rough guesses – 8 million phones at $600 a pop, with a $400 margin contributing to GDP… or $3.2 billion in sales that otherwise wouldn’t have happened (people holding out for the iPhone 5).  Seem like ridiculously high for a single product?  Maybe – but the iPhone 4 release (not the 4s) may have measurably impacted GDP… so there is precedence.

A Brave New World

So, do you think Apple can pull it off?  Can the largest company in the world brighten the statistics of the largest country (by economy…) in the world with a single product?


    • says

      I don’t doubt it. Bay Area news always gets hyped about the flagship Apple store line, and yes, people were lined up.

  1. Joe says

    I use a BlackBerry Bold 9900. It’s got the best keyboard out of any smartphone ever — and having any keyboard is better than just a touchscreen. But it does also have a touchscreen. It’s much more secure, too.

    • says

      Evo 4G for me, and I have been an Apple fan my whole life. I just don’t get super hyped about buying their stuff “right not”. I’m typing this on a Macbook Pro 15″… that I bought used.

  2. 101 Centavos says

    I’m still in the dark ages with a company-issued Blackberry Torch… and do just fine.

    Do you think Apple jumped the shark w/ the latest iPad system upgrade and this latest iPhone?

    • says

      Probably with the maps – but I can see why they want those in their own ecosystem. Regardless, they’re likely going to beat the numbers I put above, making issues with the maps seem small.

  3. YourFinancesSimplified says

    I definitely think that Apple will be able to pull it off. Based on the
    news, the iPhone 5 has matched the month long sales figures for 4S in
    just 3 days. Wow!

    • says

      How many are due to you guys? Did you get 1 or 2?

      I’ve got enough Apple products here that I don’t feel bad saying that the only mobile ones we have are iPods. A Gen 3 Touch is the newest, heh.