It costs more to buy a TV in Argentina than anywhere else in Latin America.
According to a recent survey by IFR Monitoring, it costs 101% more in U.S. dollars to buy a 32″ HDTV here than in Chile and 113% more than in Colombia.
Now that’s something to be proud of….not.
IFR did a comparative analysis of prices for a standard 32″ HDTV in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Uruguay.
The results show Argentina to be the most expensive place to buy a TV while Colombia is the least expensive. On a recent trip to Colombia I was struck by how much less expensive tech items are there. In many cases, prices were similar to those in the U.S., the mecca of consumer electronics.
But if the U.S. is the global heaven of consumer electronics, in terms of selection and pricing, Argentina appears to be Latin America’s consumer electronics inferno.
It’s ironic, to say the least, that in the U.S., the world’s richest country (according to some metrics), brand name tech products cost less than in almost any country in the world while in Argentina, where the minimum wage is about $380 a month (for a 48-hour work week), such products are among the most expensive.
The average price of a 32″ TV in the countries surveyed is $711. It’s $1,012 in Argentina and under half that – $476 – in Colombia.
In an unrelated survey published this week, IFR said it was “plausible” to assert, as Amazon.com has, that the sale of eBooks will surpass standard book sales by the end of 2011.
Of course, both Amazon and IFR were referring to U.S. eBook sales. Given price problems in particular, and broader macroeconomic challenges (including poverty) in general, this is unlikely to happen in Argentina for many years.