LTE on Apple’s iPhone 5 Could Stand For ‘Lift The Economy’

When it comes to Apple’s forthcoming iPhone refresh, LTE may actually stand for “lift the economy.”

That’s the suggestion made this week by a number of Wall Street analysts and economists who believe that iPhone sales will be so strong that the device’s popularity could lead to a tangible impact on America’s GDP.

J.P.Morgan chief economist Michael Feroli thinks the iPhone 5 could add as much as half a percentage point to annualized gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter of this year.

“If the imported cost component is similar to previous leading generation phones it would imply around a $200 per phone addition to imports (which is a subtraction from GDP). The difference between these two figures, $400, would represent the trade margins, which figure into GDP,” Feroli remarked Tuesday.

“This estimate seems fairly large, and for that reason should be treated skeptically,” he said. “However, we think the recent evidence is consistent with this projection.”

All told, Feroli estimates that iPhone 5 sales could boost GDP by upwards of $3.2 billion.