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CBA story

Australia fourth cheapest for Apple iPhone as dollar slips

Australia fourth cheapest for Apple iPhone

Aussie retailers could benefit as a weaker dollar encourages shoppers to buy local.

Australia is now one of the cheapest places in the world to buy an Apple iPhone 8 in US dollar terms, jumping from 25th place last year, according to online broker CommSec, as the Aussie dollar slips in value against the US currency.

With Apple about to release a new model of the iPhone, all eyes are on local pricing of technology and must-have devices.

The CommSec iPad index released today ranks Australia as the fourth cheapest place to buy an iPhone and third cheapest for an Apple iPad 2018 (9.7-inch tablet device, 32GB) in US dollar terms.

“On current pricing, Aussie tourists would only save $11 by buying an iPad in the cheapest country - Hong Kong - rather than in Australia,” says CommSec Chief Economist Craig James. “When the currency falls, Aussie consumers may be better off buying goods locally, and that’s great news for Aussie retailers.”

The Aussie dollar (AUD) has dropped to around 72 US cents currently, compared with closer to 80.5 US cents a year ago, CommSec notes.

Australia is now the 4th cheapest of 51 countries to buy an Apple iPhone 8 and 3rd cheapest to buy an iPad in US dollar terms, according to CommSec research.

CommSec has been compiling pricing data on Apple devices since 2007 as a modern way of tracking purchasing power parity. It’s theoretical, as local taxes would need to be taken into account in the various countries as well as shipping costs.

Shoppers in Latin America, and northern and eastern European countries pay the most for the devices, the CommSec research shows.

“The Aussie dollar has fallen by around 11 per cent against the US dollar over the past year,” says James. “Australia is back in the pack of countries having the lowest-priced Apple products in US dollar terms. Perhaps that means little change in pricing when Apple updates its latest tech devices on Wednesday.”

The CommSec iPad index and CommSec iPhone index are useful in highlighting the globalisation of retail shopping and the impact of currency changes.

“When the currency weakens, it improves the position of Aussie retailers,” explains James. “Aussie consumers are less inclined to go online and source the goods from abroad and Aussie tourists may purchase goods at home in preference to buying the goods abroad.”