iPhone 5 Release Date Could Be Major Boost For US Economy, Some Say

   on September 15 2012 3:04 PM
iPhone 5
The Apple iPone 5 release could aid the US economy if the sales are as high as analysts expect. IBT

The iPhone 5 release date has been eagerly awaited by gadget fans, but some say the newest Apple smartphone could even boost the whole economy.

"The iPhone 5 is going to do more for the real economy than QE3," said Kevin Warsh, a former Federal Reserve governor, in an interview with CNBC.

Apple confirmed Wednesday that the iPhone 5 release date will be Sept. 21, as was rumored for months. Since the announcement, economists and other financial experts have speculated on how the iPhone 5 will sell and what those sales could do for the United States' struggling financial system.

"The global economy is weakening. The developments out of Europe, while they might be dealing with some of the tail risks, Europe is in the early innings of a serious recession," Warsh told CNBC. Forbes notes that despite the Fed's plans to purchase up to $40 billion per month in mortgage bonds and securities (about half a trillion dollars annually), the iPhone 5 release is seen as having even more of an impact.

Forbes cites a JP Morgan report that the iPhone 5 should increase GDP by 0.3 percent on a yearly basis. The publication doubts those findings, but still thinks the result could come to something similar.

"[JP Morgan isn't] considering whether the spending on the iPhone will be displaced spending or new spending that otherwise would not occur," wrote Forbes contributor Tim Worstall.

"Apple could sell 6 million to 10 million iPhone 5s in the final week of September barring supply issues," said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster last week, reports All Things D. He estimates that the majority of iPhone 5's will be sold during the first week of the release.

ZDNet claims that 1.7 million iPhone 4 models were sold in the first three days of that phone's release in 2010, and 4 million iPhone 4S devices were sold in its release week just over a year later. Zack Whittaker, in an article for ZDNet, predicts that customers will upgrade their phones for the new iPhone 5, and the rush would make up the difference between iPhone 4 and 4s sales and the higher iPhone 5 sales.

There is no way to know for sure what will happen come Sept. 21.  It won't be until after the release date that any effects from the phone purchases will be able to be measured.

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