As you have probably heard, back in September Apple launched the newest versions of its iPhone, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. People seem to like them. From a business perspective, the launch went incredibly well.
Now we can see its economic ripple effect across the world.
International trade data—which always lags—shows the dramatic impact of the new iPhones, which boosted shipping numbers worldwide. For example, there was a September surge in imports of cell phones from China, where iPhones are manufactured, to Japan—where the launch was greeted with enthusiasm from buyers (including some from China before the phone was released there).
Over in Taiwan, home of the contract manufacturing giants Hon Hai Precision and Pegatron—they both do the bulk of the actual production of iPhones in factories in mainland China—saw record orders for information and communication devices in September. The surge was “mainly due to the launch of international brand name mobile devices that led to the significant increase of orders,” according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Meanwhile, in the US, the country’s trade goods deficit with China—always a politically sensitive subject—hit an all-time low in September, partly driven by surging imports of iPhones. (Yes, Apple is an American company, but the actual imports of the phones themselves shows up in the merchandise import data collected by the US Census Bureau on all goods physically brought to the US.)