A UN report out today states that Norway's the best place in the world to live right now, with Australia coming in second. I love a bit of competition and appropriately placed national pride. We may be marginally second, but if gadgets are taken into consideration, we're clearly number one. The UN report compares 187 countries on factors including health, education, per-capita income and life expectancy; Norway came first with a Human Development Index of 0.943, just ahead of Australia on 0.929. That's not much of a gap, and that made me wonder if there was a way we could close that gap right up.
Then I remembered something that had been mentioned to me many years before; Norway's one of the most expensive places on the planet when it comes to technology. I'd heard that, but never really looked into it. Is it still true?
Yep. OK, that's a short and blunt answer, but to pick two popular gadgets — the Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy S II — as representative examples, we're doing much better. Apple Australia lists the retail price of the entry level iPad 2 as $579. The exact same iPad 2 in Norway costs 3,890 krone, which at today's exchange rates comes in at around $669. Ouch. That's a frozen Apple tax right there.
Over on the Android side of the fence, things are no better. Buying outright, I can hit any number of stores selling an unlocked Galaxy S II for around $500-$600. A quick bit of online searching (bearing in mind I'm far from fluent in Norwegian) found http://www.spaceworld.no/mobil-3/samsung-i9100-galaxy-s-ii-black/ one for 5,563 krone. That's roughly $957.
Or in other words, UN — what were you thinking? We might pay too much for gadgets compared to, say, the US, but Norway — really? Image: randihausken