When the original iPhone shipped, it was known derisively as the “jesus phone.” That mantra might make a return as one prominent economist claims the upcoming launch of the iPhone 5 GDP effect could add up to 0.5 percent growth to US economy, which in turn could boost (satire alert) President Obama’s chances of re-election, sparking a wave of condemnation from his opponents.

Quoting JPMorgan chief economist Michael Feroli CNNMoney reports that if Apple sells 8 million iPhone 5s in the fourth quarter, US GDP could see a 0.5 percent increase.

To reach those figures, Feroli began by assuming that 8 million iPhone 5’s will be purchased in the last three months of this year, as JPMorgan predicts. He then assumed a retail cost of $600 per phone and subtracted $200 for the cost of imported components. Each iPhone sold would therefore add $400 to GDP, or $3.2 billion for the quarter. That’s $12.8 billion at an annual rate, and would yield a boost in annualized GDP growth of 0.33 percent for the fourth quarter.

The 0.33 percent boost is Feroli’s mid-range estimate, but the iPhone 5 GDP effect could go as high as 0.5 percent. For what it’s worth, he estimates US growth in the fourth quarter will hit 2 percent, clearly not an astounding level yet better than the 1.7 percent rate experienced in the second quarter.

iPhone 5 GDP and the one term president

In related news, Republicans of every stripe popped up to denounce the iPhone 5 and anything that might derail their chances of unseating President Barrack Obama.

“This campaign has benefitted from 43 months of high unemployment,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “Congressional Republicans carefully laid this ground over the last two years, blocking anything that might improve the economy, and we’re not going to stand idly and watch that advantage just slip away.”

Meanwhile, conservative pundit and sayer of bizarre things Rush Limbaugh claims Americans are depressed by the iPhone 5, a device that the shock jock warns could lead users to experience multiple divorces, obscene weight gain, addiction to prescription pain medications, felony drug convictions and European style socialism in America.

Lastly, the Birther Movement delivered documents that purportedly prove Apple founder and erstwhile CEO Steve Jobs, whose father like Obama’s wasn’t born in this country, isn’t a US citizen.

And, we’re another day closer to the election…

What’s your take?