Just what does US$249 translate to in Australian currency these days? If you go by the exchange rate, it's AUD $245.40. If you go by the pricing of the 16GB Google Nexus 7, then US$249 actually equals AUD $299. If you go by the pricing on a Wi-Fi PlayStation Vita, then US$249 is actually $349.95 here in Australia. There are countless other examples of these inventive takes on the way exchange rates work.
But according to Logitech, $249 is $249, no matter where you are — its new Harmony Touch universal remote is costing the same amount in both the US and here. (It's actually $249.95 here and $249.99 in the US, but I decided that $249 had nicer symmetry for this piece — sue me).
Ignoring the fact that it's a wee bit pricy for a universal remote these days (it's the cost of a tablet that can do the same stuff), Logitech deserves a big pat on the back for bucking the trend of the so-called "Australia Tax". For the most part, Australians pay consistently more for technology, compared to our overseas counterparts, than can be accounted for just by GST and shipping costs.
It's a big enough problem that there's even a parliamentary inquiry into the Australia Tax, with consumer groups such as the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) trooping out to Canberra to report to government officials on the pricing discrepancies.
Whether Logitech will prove to be some sort of bellwether for the rest of the IT industry remains to be seen — and, in fairness, it is completely unlikely. But the company certainly deserves a small round of applause (at least, a golf clap) for its Harmony Touch pricing.