Australians are paying a lot more for iPhones than other countries, a new report reveals

Image: Apple.
  • Australia has dropped down on the list of cheapest places to buy an iPhone 11.
  • According to the CommSec iPhone Index, Australia is the 18th cheapest place to get an iPhone 11 64GB in US dollars, compared to being fourth place in 2019.
  • The most expensive places to buy an iPhone include Argentina, Vietnam and the Czech Republic.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Australia isn’t one of the cheapest places to snag an iPhone.

According to the CommSec iPhone Index, Australia is listed as the 18th cheapest place to purchase an iPhone 11 64GB, at $US875.18. On the Apple Store, Aussies can get an iPhone 11 64GB for $AUD1,199.

The index compares the prices of the iPhone 11 64GB and the 11-inch iPad Pro 128GB in US dollars among 51 countries.

In this year’s index, Australia fell from being one of the cheapest places to buy an iPhone, due to a “firm Australian dollar” boosted by high iron ore prices. In 2019, Australia was listed as the fourth cheapest place to snag an iPhone, and the third cheapest place to buy an iPad.

“Last year the Aussie dollar was near US68-69 cents and today it is closer to US72-73 cents,” CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said in a statement. “That has meant that Australia has slipped down the global leader-board of US dollar pricing of the latest Apple devices.”

According to the report, the regions that pay the highest in the world for both iPhones and iPads are Latin America and Eastern Europe. At the top of the list of countries paying the most for an iPhone 11 are Argentina, Vietnam and the Czech Republic.

On the other end, the cheapest places to snap up an iPhone are US – particularly Los Angeles (US$765.41) – followed by Hong Kong (US$774.06) and Japan (US$775.06).

Image: CommSec

When looking at the iPad Pro, the top three countries that pay the most for them are Argentina, Brazil and Latvia.

Image: CommSec

James added that with the current prices, Australian tourists would have saved around $150 by getting an iPad in the cheapest countries instead of in Australia.

“Unfortunately, it is a moot point given that Aussies can’t currently travel abroad and pick up bargains in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan or a number of other countries,” he added.

“The Australian dollar has appreciated by around 6 per cent against the US dollar over the past year. If our dollar hadn’t appreciated, Australia would have been the eighth cheapest place to buy an Apple iPhone in US dollar terms.”

CommSec’s iPhone and iPad indexes have been going since 2007 and are a way to look at issues like how currency changes affect consumer spending and globalisation. The indexes are also a new way to view the purchasing power theory, the idea that the same item should be sold for the same price around the world when you take exchange rates into account.

However, this purchasing power theory has its own challenges, especially around freight and shipping costs.

“If the local price was relatively high and shipping costs weren’t overly exorbitant then a buyer may decide to source goods from another country,” the report said. “If enough buyers were to source goods abroad, presumably it would force local retailers to re-assess pricing.”

The report further highlighted that tax rates make it complicated to compare prices between countries. “In Australia the GST is included in the Apple Store price,” it said. “The sales tax environments aren’t as clear on the pricing of iPads and iPhones in many other countries.”

CommSec’s index comes amid Apple announcing a variety of new products and services including a new Apple Watch and a new iPad Air.

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