Today Apple announced the new iPhone 5. The key features appear to be (1) the phone is thinner and lighter, (2) the display has a much higher resolution, (3) faster performance, (4) a smaller connector and (5) enhanced camera performance, including a tool for shooting panoramic photos. All of this for $199!
Sales are expected to be strong, so strong that GDP could get a significant boost in the 4th quarter. WSJ reports that an economist at J.P. Morgan Chase estimates the phone will add 0.25 to 0.5 percent to economic growth. That's 8 million phones times $400 value added ($600 price minus $200 imported components).
Wireless carriers sell the phones at $200 but lock in customers with two year contracts that more than make up the $400 discount. They have reacted, WSJ reports, by adding upgrade fees and more expensive data plans.
I am still using a three-year-old iPhone 3, so I think I will be ready for an upgrade. Will have to think awhile about the best carrier and data plan.
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