The iPhone 5 launch on Wednesday, Sept. 12, is sure to be the most important event for tech investors this year. The Motley Fool will be hosting a live chat where our top tech analysts will answer your questions and break down what the announcement means for Apple and tech investors everywhere. Be sure to swing by Fool.com at 12:45 p.m. ET tomorrow for all your coverage of Apple's next big announcement.
There isn't a lot of mystery as we head into tomorrow's Apple
The only real question is how huge. Apple has historically sold more smartphones with every passing generation, but the iPhone 5 will be special. It is widely reported to be the tech giant's first material upgrade in size and design. It's also rumored to be the first iPhone that will work seamlessly with China Mobile
Yes, China Mobile's user base is more than twice the entire U.S. population. It's that big, and that's just one reason investors giddily bid Apple shares to a fresh all-time intraday high on Monday.
What will this all mean for Apple? Well, JPMorgan's Michael Feroli asks an even bigger question: What will this all mean for the U.S. economy?
Feroli's equity analysts figure that Apple will sell roughly 8 million iPhones next quarter. It would be Apple's first fiscal quarter of 2013, but it's the calendar year's fourth quarter of 2012.
Wireless neophytes may mistakenly believe that Apple's generating $200 in revenue on each of its entry-level iPhones, but it's more than that. Wireless carriers in this country are paying Apple roughly $400 on top of that, knowing that they can more than that make that amount back by locking in accounts into two-year contracts.
In short, we're talking about $600 per phone -- or $4.8 billion in revenue for Apple. For GDP purposes we have to back out JPMorgan's estimate of $200 per phone in overseas components. The end result is that GDP will increase by $3.2 billion during the holiday quarter as a result of Apple, or $12.8 billion on an annualized basis.
How big is that number? Well it would be 0.33% -- or a sixth -- of the 2% boost being projected in GDP this year.
If that sounds impressive, let's keep going. Is Apple really only going to sell 32 million iPhone 5s during the next four quarters?
At least one analyst, FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger, expects Apple to sell as many as 250 million iPhone 5 handsets during the product's lifetime. If 32 million iPhones are a boost to GDP, what would 250 million do over a couple of years? Even JPMorgan's own Mark Moskowitz turned heads last week by forecasting 167.9 million iPhones, up from his earlier target of 147.4 million, in fiscal 2013 across all available iPhones.
It gets better.
More in store
Won't the release of the iPhone 5 help shippers and perhaps even shopping-mall food courts? What about a small company like ZAGG
Oh, and what about Apple's chain of stores? The iPhone 5 sales are already being baked into the metrics, but what about the employees? They received pay raises of up to 25% earlier this summer after a review of the chain's operations. Won't some of them be spending the extra disposable income in ways that may add to the country's GDP?
Forget about the fiscal cliff, soaring oil prices, and one of the worst droughts recorded in U.S. history -- the iPhone 5 to the rescue!
You have only one day now before the iPhone 5 hits. Take the time to get access to this comprehensive iPhone 5 report that the Fool has put together. Sign up today and get a detailed comprehensive write-up, an iPhone 5 special report, as well as regular future updates for no additional cost! Just Get started.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and China Mobile. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of FedEx and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.