Where in the world can you buy the cheapest iPhone?

Sadly, there are at least 17 other countries where you’d be able to get a cheaper iPhone than in Australia.

According to the CommSec iPhone Index, Australia is now the 18th cheapest place to buy an iPhone, a sharp drop from fourth place in the same study last year.

The Index looks at the cost of iPhones and iPads around the world, converting the price to US dollars based on current exchange rates.

The study looks at the prices of these devices across 51 countries.

The iPhone 11 64GB costs $1,199 in Australia, or $US875.18 based on the current exchange rate.

In the US, the same device costs just $US699, more than 12 percent cheaper.

This places Australia at 18th cheapest in the world, with the US (specifically Los Angeles), Hong Kong and Japan being the cheapest place in the world to buy the new iPhone.

At the other end of the scale is Argentina is where you would find the most expensive iPhone, costing nearly $US2,000.

In 2019, Australia was the 4th cheapest place in the world to buy the iPhone XR 64GB device.

Australia’s fall down the rankings is the result of a firm Australian dollar, underpinned by the high price of iron ore, according to CommSec chief economist Craig James.

“Last year the Aussie dollar was near-US68 - 69 cents and today it is closer to US72 - 73 cents,” James said.

“That has meant that Australia has slipped down the global leader board of US dollar pricing of the latest Apple devices.”

The iPad Pro 11 inch 128GB will set you back $US970 in Australia, nearly $US200 more expensive than the cheapest offering, found in Canada.

Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia are the cheapest places to buy the new iPad, while countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe pay the most for both devices.

Australians would be able to save hundreds of dollars if they bought an Apple device while travelling in another country.

“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,” James said.

“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 launched the index in 2017 to look at purchasing power theory – that the same goods should be sold for the same prices across the world once exchange rates are taken into account.

It originally looked at the price of iPod but has since switched to iPhones and iPads.

“The important point is that local retailers and suppliers face the same dilemma as Apple – when currencies change, how quickly should local pricing change?” the study said.

“And if you do change selling prices, do you fully adjust for the current impact?

“There is a range of influences that play a part in the decision, including a judgement about whether the currency change is likely to be permanent or temporary.”

Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones next month, rumoured to feature a significant redesign with a metal frame and 5G support for the first time.