iPhone 5 could provide big boost for US GDP

You wouldn’t normally consider that a lone gadget could have a discernable affect on the economy of a country, but an economist has predicted that the iPhone 5 launch will have a significant on US GDP.

Chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli writes that the iPhone 5 could increase economic growth in the last quarter of the year by between a quarter and half a per cent, the WSJ reports. It may not sound like a lot, but let’s not forget that US GDP is a little over $15 trillion. Not small change.

The prediction is based on the idea that the iPhone 5 will sell around eight million units this year – it’s expected to go on sale by early October, giving it three months to reach this figure. Feroli estimates that around $400 of each iPhone 5 will count towards the US GDP, calculated by subtracting the cost of components by the cost of the phone. Totting up the numbers, the total is equivalent to $3.2 billion.

Feroli himself advises that the prediction should be “treated skeptically”, but the $3.2 billion would mean a 0.33 per cent economic growth. While we’re not entirely clued-up on how Apple’s revenue feeds into US GDP, the 8-million sales of the iPhone 5 seem conservative enough. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 sold 10 million units within two months and 20 million within 100 days. Is the iPhone 5 really going to lag behind by 10 million units by the end of the year?

The iPhone 5 will launch tomorrow in San Francisco. It’s expected to revitalise the iPhone line with a larger screen and new, thinner design. It’s the most anticipated evening in the tech calendar, and we’ll be on-hand from 6pm with all the latest announcements and impressions.

Alongside the iPhone 5, it’s also possible Apple will launch new versions of its iPods, ones that use the new 9-pin adapter. It’s less likely that the ageing iPod Classic will also get a nod.

Are you waiting for the iPhone 5 to make your mind up on what to do with your phone contract? Let us know what would sway you towards the iPhone in the comments.