image

CNBC

These are the world’s cheapest and most expensive places to buy technology

Kuwait takes the first spot as the cheapest place to buy smartphones, games consoles, and tablet computers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 December, 2016, 2:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 December, 2016, 2:55pm

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are the cheapest places in the world to buy technology such as smartphones, games consoles and tablet computers, while Venezuela, Angola and Brunei are the most expensive.

Consumers gifting an Android phone this Christmas will spend an average of US$539.18 in Kuwait, while Venezuelans will have to spend the equivalent of US$78,054.19. The sky-high figure for Venezuela is due to its economic crisis, where inflation is forecast to reach 1,500 per cent in 2017. Angola ranks as second most expensive overall, where the average price of an Android phone is US$2,641.01.

The 2016 technology price index, compiled by Latin American online retailer Linio, looks at the average retail price, including taxes, of 14 popular devices in 71 countries. It studied several brick-and-mortar stores, smaller retailers and at least three websites per country.

It may come as a surprise that Middle Eastern countries rank as some of the cheapest places for technology, but relatively high costs of living are offset by low VAT on consumer products. Developing countries such as Venezuela and Belarus are more expensive, because “inflation and import restrictions have taken a huge toll on consumer access to the market,” according to Linio.

The cheapest piece of tech people can buy is a portable device charger for an average US$2.14 in Vietnam, while a similar product will cost US$105.14 in Brunei, or US$371.87 in Venezuela.

Linio also spoke to 5,000 consumers about what devices they’d like for Christmas. Laptops came out top, with 28.4 per cent preferring to receive one. They would do best to buy a Windows version from Turkey, retailing at an average of US$300.37, while those in Brazil would have to spend US$3,390.96 on a MacBook, more than ten times as much.

Linio operates in eight countries in Latin America and claims to have 50 million visits to its website per month. The study was revealed Wednesday, and currency conversions were correct as of December 1.

1. Kuwait

2. Saudi Arabia

3. Malaysia

4. Canada

5. United Arab Emirates

6. Qatar

7. Japan

8. USA

9. Australia

10. Poland

1. Venezuela

2. Angola

3. Brunei

4. Brazil

5. Guatemala

6. Singapore

7. Croatia

8. Indonesia

9. Bangladesh

10. Philippines

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.