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'Brazil, India most expensive to buy an iPod'

Reuters

Posted: Jan 18, 2007 at 1200 hrs IST

Having already stormed world fashion, Apple's hip iPod music player is finally making its presence felt in global currency markets.

One of Australia's biggest banks, the Commonwealth Bank, has used the latest version of Apple's music player -- the slimline Nano -- to compare global currencies and purchasing power in 26 countries.

Along the lines of the Big Mac index launched 20 years ago by The Economist magazine, the survey prices the 2GB Nano in US dollars and found Brazilians pay the most for an iPod, shelling out USD 327.71, well above second-placed India at USD 222.27.

Canada was the cheapest place to buy a Nano at USD 144.20, while Australia ranked 19th at USD 172.36, cheaper than Germany (USD 192.46), France (USD 205.80), South Korea (USD 176.17) and China where the machine is manufactured. The U.S. was fourth cheapest at USD 149.

"Interestingly, especially with freight costs close to zero, China is middle ranked in terms of global prices at USD 179.84," Craig James, the Chief Equities Economist at Commonwealth Bank, said.

Purchasing power parity surveys compare the prices of goods in different countries and at their simplest level can help show whether one currency is undervalued against another.

James said the results suggested the US currency had scope to rise against a range of major currencies except for the Hong Kong and Canadian dollars or the Japanese yen.

However, the results could be influenced by different pricing policies that Apple might apply in different parts of the world, James said.

"The results of the CommSec iPod index won't provide joy to US policy makers. They want the Chinese yuan to appreciate, not fall in value against the U.S. dollar," he said.

More than 21 million iPods were sold in the last quarter.

The CommSec iPod Index, based on January 2007 prices.

1. Brazil USD 327.71

2. India USD 222.27

3. Sweden USD 213.03

4. Denmark USD 208.25

5. Belgium USD 205.81

6. France USD 205.80

7. Finland USD 205.80

8. Ireland USD 205.79

9. UK USD 195.04

10. Austria USD 192.86

11. Netherlands USD 192.86

12. Spain USD 192.86

13. Italy USD 192.86

14. Germany USD 192.46

15. China USD 179.84

16. South Korea USD 176.17

17. Switzerland USD 175.59

18. New Zealand USD 172.53

19. Australia USD 172.36

20. Taiwan USD 164.88

21. Singapore USD 161.25

22. Mexico USD 154.46

23. US USD 149.00

24. Japan USD 147.63

25. Hong Kong USD 147.35

26. Canada USD 144.20

Source: CommSec, Apple

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