Thursday, January 25, 2007

iPod Index

An Australian Bank, CommSec, has done an interesting twist on the old Big Mac index. The idea is to compare the price of a standard item across several countries to get a light hearted view on exchange rates called the CommSec iPod Index. For years it has been the Big Mac, now CommSec has done the same for the 2 GB iPod nano.

Out of 26 countries Brazil is the most expensive, Canada is the cheapest, and Ireland is the 8th most expensive, but not the most expensive in the Euro zone.
Brazil $327.71
India $222.27
Sweden $213.03
Denmark $208.25
Belgium $205.81
France $205.80
Finland $205.80
Ireland $205.79
UK $195.04
Austria $192.86
Netherlands $192.86
Spain $192.86
Italy $192.86
Germany $192.46
China $179.84
Korea $176.17
Switzerland $175.59
NZ $172.53
Australia $172.36
Taiwan $164.88
Singapore $161.25
Mexico $154.46
US $149.00
Japan $147.63
Hong Kong $147.63
Canada $144.20
Source: CommSec, Apple

In the long term the iPod may be a difficult thing to measure against since technology moves on and in a couple of years low spec iPods could well be pitched at a much cheaper price bracket, or alternatively scrapped altogether with the emphasis on more expensive multi-funtion gadgets. You can pick another item, but it removes a certain amount of consistency from the survey that the Big Mac provides.

But I'm just being a bit picky. I like this way of measuring things. It may be light hearted but I think it good to see countries ranked based on things people aspire to own instead of a generic basket of goods the government tells us is cheap. In fact I'd like to see another equation done based buying power and how long it takes to earn the money to buy an iPod, similar to what is also done for the Big Mac. For example, in Ireland it takes 15 minutes on average to earn enough money to buy a Big Mac.

[via SlashDot]

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