Australia is now the 4th cheapest country in the world to buy an iPhone

Saeed Khan/ AFP/ Getty Images
  • According to CommSec’s iPhone index, Australia is the 4th cheapest country in the world to buy an Apple iPhone 8 in US dollar terms.
  • The index tracks iPhone prices in 51 nations as a way of looking at purchasing power across countries.
  • For iPads, Australia is now the 3rd cheapest country.

Australia has suddenly become one of the cheapest countries in the world to buy an iPhone.

According to the CommSec iPhone index, a way of measuring purchasing power between nations, Australia is now the 4th cheapest country in the world to buy an Apple iPhone 8 in US dollar terms.

This time last year, Australia was the 25th cheapest country out of 51 to buy an Apple iPhone 7 (when the Australian dollar was US80 cents).

In 2016, Australia was the 17th cheapest to buy the iPhone 6 Plus (when the dollar was US76 cents) and in 2015 fourth cheapest to buy an iPhone (US69 cents).

An iPhone 8, 4.7 inch, 64GB is $1,079 in Australia ($US775.56 at exchange rates sourced on September 5. (The dollar has fallen further since this data was compiled.)

In the US, the same phone is $US699, or about 1.3% cheaper.

Apple is expected to release a new model of the iPhone tomorrow and Australian consumers will be closely watching local pricing.

Argentina at $1,438.54 is the most expensive place in the world to buy the iPhone.

“Since we began the CommSec iPod index in January 2007, Australia was always one of the cheapest places in the globe to buy the iPod nano media player,” says CommSec.

“In fact Australia was the cheapest place to buy the popular media player in both October 2008 and December 2009.

“We have now shifted to iPads and iPhones for comparison. Australia is now back amongst the cheapest places to buy the must-have tech devices courtesy of Apple pricing and a weaker currency.”

The latest CommSec iPhone index:

CommSec

The CommSec iPod, iPad and iPhone indexes were designed as modern day variants of the long-running Big Mac index compiled by The Economist magazine.

Both the iPad and Big Mac indexes work on the theory of “same good, same price” — the same item should trade at broadly the same price across the globe if exchange rates are adjusting.

The index divides the local price of a Big Mac by the US price of a Big Mac. This gives a parity exchange rate. If the actual exchange rate is above the that rate, the theory says the currency is overvalue and may need to fall to bring the goods in both countries in line.

“The problem is that Big Macs aren’t exchanged across country borders,” says CommSec.

“But the assumption is that Big Macs are a proxy for other goods that certainly may be traded.

“The other problem is that the Big Mac index assumes a US base, and thus assumes that US goods are appropriately priced.”

The last Big Mac index analysis in July this year concluded that the Aussie dollar was “under-valued” by 18.1% against the US dollar. In other words the Australia dollar should have been closer to US90.9 cents rather than US74.6 cents at that time.

Today, the Aussie dollar is below US72 cents.

CommSec’s iPad index shows Australia is now the third cheapest country in the world to buy an Apple iPad 2018; 9.7-inch tablet device, 32GB, for $US337.10 in US dollar terms.

On current pricing, Australian tourists would only save $US11 by buying an iPad in the cheapest country, Hong Kong, rather than in Australia.

“When the currency falls Aussie consumers may be better off buying goods locally,” says CommSec.

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