Leave it to the Australians. According to Reuters, "one of Australia’s biggest banks, the Commonwealth Bank, has used the latest version of Apple’s (AAPL) music player — the slimline 4GB Nano — to compare global currencies and purchasing power in 55 countries."
Brazilians pay the most for an iPod, spending $369.61 in US dollar equivalents. Hong Kong was the cheapest place to buy a Nano at $148.12, while the United States was second cheapest at $149
Apple has now sold about 120 million iPods around the world, and that figure grows by about 10 million a quarter. It is actually a good proxy for purchasing power and the value of local currencies against the dollar.
But, whether economists us an iPod or a bottle of Coke, the iPod index speaks volumes about Apple’s ability to make a fairly ordinary product–a music player–into a global brand, a brand that has meaning in almost every language.
Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at email@example.com. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.