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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 10:49 GMT
iPods set the tempo in currency
Apple iPod
Apple's iPod has been hugely popular
As a sign of the global reach of the iPod, an Australian bank has opted to use the music player as a benchmark to track currency values worldwide.

Commonwealth Securities has launched an iPod index, based on the cost of the 2 gigabyte iPod Nano player as a way of showing if a currency is overvalued.

The idea stems from The Economist magazine's Big Mac index.

The bank has chosen the iPod since they are all made in China and its price - in theory - should be consistent.


This is in contrast to McDonald's burgers, which are made worldwide, says the bank.

As a result, the price of an iPod after taxes should be the same regardless of where it is sold, argues Commonwealth Securities.

However, in practice this is not the case.

At present the cheapest place to buy the iPod Nano is Canada, for around $172 (87), but at the other end of the spectrum is Brazil, where the same model sells for $327.

"The index suggests that the US dollar has potential to appreciate against a range of major currencies, with the Australian dollar about 15% overvalued against the greenback," said Craig James, Commonwealth Securities' head economist.

As a means of playing music, the iPod has been hugely popular and helped significantly boost Apple's profits.

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