The ‘Are You Kidding Me?’ Apple News

Some JP Morgan economists are saying that the iPhone 5 will ensure Obama’s election.

Not really. They are saying that the iPhone 5 will stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.

In fact, they calculated that the iPhone 5 could add a whopping 0.5 percentage points to our 4th quarter GDP.

Ready to be dazed by math?

Feroli’s calculations are fairly straightforward: He figures that the new iPhone 5 will sell for $600 per unit. If each phone contains about $200 in imported parts, then each iPhone sale adds about $400 to GDP. (Imports get subtracted from GDP calculations.) If Apple manages to sell 8 million iPhones, then that’s a $3.2 billion boost to the economy right there, increasing fourth-quarter growth by a 0.33 percent annualized pace. If the government statisticians add in a hedonic adjustment to account for the fact that new iPhones are superior to the old ones, that could boost GDP numbers even further.

Hedonic adjustment? This is where I wished I knew at 18 what I know now, twice as old: I really, really wish I got an economics degree. But as far as I can tell, from various Googlings, is that you can calculate the total value of an item based on separate valuations of individual qualities of it. Like real estate, which has many components, each of a different value, depending on the particular property.

Or like iPhones.

So the upshot: the iPhone 5 could have such mojo that our GDP would experience significant boostage. Which you know what that means for the incumbent presiding over such boostage.


Now, to coordinate GDP reports before the election, but after iPhone 5. Maybe that’s the kind of thing that presidents can do.

The right kind of shadowy power over our lives. Right?

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