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

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


An attendee demonstrates the Touch Bar on a new MacBook Pro laptop computer during an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, Oct. 27, 2016.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An attendee demonstrates the Touch Bar on a new MacBook Pro laptop computer during an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, Oct. 27, 2016.

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 $2.14 in Vietnam, while a similar product will cost $105.14 in Brunei, or $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 percent preferring to receive one. They would do best to buy a Windows version from Turkey, retailing at an average of $300.37, while those in Brazil would have to spend $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.


The ten cheapest countries to buy technology

1. Kuwait

2. Saudi Arabia

3. Malaysia

4. Canada

5. United Arab Emirates

6. Qatar

7. Japan

8. USA

9. Australia

10. Poland


The ten most expensive countries to buy technology

1. Venezuela

2. Angola

3. Brunei

4. Brazil

5. Guatemala

6. Singapore

7. Croatia

8. Indonesia

9. Bangladesh

10. Philippines


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