A few days ago, a Credit Suisse analyst put out an astonishing report that said Apple’s iPhone 6 sales had “pushed up industrial production in September” by 2.7%. The tech sector in Japan rose 12.4% in large part due to the massive sales of the expensive Apple device (it costs about $US700/£550, depending where you get it), according analyst Hiromichi Shirakawam.
Do iPhone sales really move the economies of entire countries simply by unleashing massive demand in the tech retail sector? It seems improbable.
Yet today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that the country’s retail sector ticked up 1.2% in September, boosted by a 9.2% rise in electronic goods sales — due to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. ZDNet reports:
September saw a significant 1.2 per cent boost, seasonally adjusted, to Australia’s retail trade volume, with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus release playing a large part in the sector’s monthly growth, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
… “In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest contributor to the rise was household goods retailing (4.1 per cent), where electrical and electronic goods retailing recorded growth (9.2 per cent),” the ABS said in a statement. “This figure was influenced by the release of the iPhone 6 during the month.
This seems staggering. And yet, some analysts think Apple may sell 80 million iPhone 6’s in the next few months. That’s a lot of spending unleashed globally — and think of all the peripherals and app purchases it will generate as a corollary. The iPhone may indeed be a macroeconomic effect all on its own.
Here’s the relevant text of the Credit Suisse note from a few days ago:
Japan: Mobile phone related sectors pushed up industrial production in September
Industrial production rebounded and gained 2.7% mum after falling 1.9% mum in August (Exhibit 1). The result was stronger than the expectations (BBG: +2.2%, CS: +1.0%), but continued to underperform the METI’s projection (+6.0% mum) in the August survey. Production expanded sharply for ITC equipment (+12.4% mum), benefiting from a surge in the shipments of the newly launched mobile phone (iPhone 6). A positive spillover was observed for production of electronic parts & devices (+5.8% mum).
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