Apple's iPhone 5 Sales Could Add Half a Point to GDP

iPhone 4S
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iPhone 4S

Sales of Apple’s iPhone 5 could add as much as half a percentage point to U.S. fourth-quarter annualized GDP, according to JPMorgan, underscoring the ubiquitous tech company’s unprecedented influence on one country’s economy.

“We believe the release of iPhone 5 could potentially add between ¼ to ½%-point to fourth quarter annualized GDP growth,” said JPMorgan’s Michael Feroli in a note to clients. “Sales of iPhone 5 could boost Q4 GDP by $3.2 billion, or $12.8 billion at an annual rate.”

The firm’s Apple analyst estimates fourth quarter sales of 8 million units of the new iPhone, which is set to be unveiled this Wednesday. Feroli calculated his economic impact by using a $600 average selling price minus $200 in costs of foreign components, as imports subtract from GDP.

“Does that mean an iPhone 10 will add 1 percent one day?” asked Short Hills Capital’s Stephen Weiss ironically.

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Shares of Apple are up 18 percent in three months in anticipation of the new phone. A 70 percent increase this year has made it the most valuable company ever with a market capitalization of $637.9 billion.

By John Melloy, "Fast Money" Executive Producer, CNBC, with reporting by Jesse Bergman.

For the best market insight, catch 'Fast Money' each night at 5pm ET, and the ‘Halftime Report’ each afternoon at 12:00 ET on CNBC. Follow @CNBCMelloy on Twitter.

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