The Australian dollar may be tanking, but shifting financial fortunes mean we are now the cheapest place in the world to buy iPods – at least, for people in other countries.
According to financial services firm CommSec – the investment arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia – the Australian price for the 8GB iPod nano is now the lowest of the 62 countries assessed in its regular CommSec iPod Index.
Because iPods are a uniform product that’s available across the world, they have long been used to gauge the relative effect of economic changes on the price of a well-recognised consumer product. The Economist runs a similar index based on the price of McDonald’s Big Macs (the latest index, released in July, found the Australian dollar to be undervalued based on a Big Mac price of $US3.36).
Those changes have been particularly pronounced given the rapid fall of the Australian dollar, which was trading at near parity with the US dollar just months ago and is now struggling to keep above $US0.60. This makes Australian products nearly 40 percent cheaper for overseas buyers than in the past – and makes Australian purchases cheaper for overseas buyers, which could theoretically help spur growth in export markets.
At $US131.95, the price of the 8GB iPod nano was just over one-third that of the most expensive country, Argentina, at $US353.20 (followed by Brazil at $US271.54 and Russia at $US255.41).
The same iPod costs $US176.32 in the UK; $US149 in the US; $US246.86 in economically distressed Iceland; $US189.81 in France; and $US167.17, $US148.36 and $US193.00 in the traditional economics discount centres of Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand, respectively.
Indonesia ($US138.47), Canada ($US138.73), Korea ($US139.72) and New Zealand ($US145.06) rounded out the five cheapest countries to buy your iPod.
The Australian rrp for the 8GB iPod nano is $A199. Australia ranked 14th in the last CommSec iPod Index.