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Can iPhone 5 save the U.S. economy?

Eco­nom­ics experts are pre­dict­ing the release of the iPhone 5 could have pro­found effects on the US econ­o­my.  J.P. Morgan’s chief U.S econ­o­mist Michael Fer­oli has esti­mat­ed that sales of Apple’s lat­est offer­ing could add some­thing in the region of a quar­ter to half a per­cent­age point fourth quar­ter eco­nom­ic growth.  

A strong phone or a weak economy?

The fig­ures have been crunched metic­u­lous­ly by JPM’s equi­ty ana­lysts.  Dur­ing the final quar­ter of 2012, Apple is like­ly to sell 8 mil­lion iPhone 5s.  At approx­i­mate­ly $600 per unit ($400 if $200 of import­ed com­po­nents are exclud­ed), sales are set to add around one quar­ter to one half of a per­cent­age point to the U.S economy’s stut­ter­ing growth rate.  In hard cash, that trans­lates into $3.2 bil­lion for the last three months or $12.8 bil­lion for a full year.

The news is like­ly to bring cheer to mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies through­out the coun­try and beyond – it’s not often that a sin­gle gad­get promis­es to cat­alyze the mobile phone adver­tis­ing busi­ness in a sin­gle bound.  Even so, while such a boon to the econ­o­my is to be wel­comed, oth­er voic­es are sound­ing a note of cau­tion about the fore­cast says about the state of the country’s purse.

BTIG’s chief glob­al strate­gist Dan Green­haus said, “There’s no doubt that Apple are going to sell mil­lions of these things.  But it under­scores how weak the econ­o­my is that we even care about the pos­si­ble impact of a quar­ter per­cent­age boost to the economy.”

Enhanced adver­tis­ing opportunities?

Beyond the eco­nom­ic spec­u­la­tions, how­ev­er, mobile adver­tis­ing exec­u­tives agree that the antic­i­pat­ed enlarged screen size on the iPhone 5 (reput­ed to be 14 per cent big­ger than its pre­de­ces­sor) may in itself open the door to new mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties.  Silverpop’s VP of Indus­try Rela­tions, Loren McDon­ald said that, although the new screen size isn’t a “huge increase”, mar­keters using emails and land­ing pages will be “a lit­tle less con­strained”, so that they can add addi­tion­al con­tent with­out requir­ing the iPhone user to scroll the page.

McDon­ald also believes the rumored improve­ments to the phone’s cam­era may encour­age some adver­tis­ers to imple­ment real­time and crowd-sourced ad cam­paigns as well as social pho­to con­tests, all of which will ben­e­fit from the faster upload and down­load speeds afford­ed by the new 4G connectivity.

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