Top Tips to help you afford the latest gadgets

There’s only so much you can expect from people on your birthday and at Christmas, isn’t there? So how can you get hold of the latest tech on the market? How can you be the owner of an X-Box One or a PlayStation 4? Here is our guide to the best ways to be able to afford the latest gadgets on the market.

Make a trade.

There are plenty of high street stores that will buy your old gadgets off you: CEX and Game being two prime examples. There are also a plethora of online stores that will do the same, from Music Magpie to Mazuma Mobile. Most of these places pay cash or cheque, meaning that if you have a treasure trove of unwanted old technology, you can trade it in and maybe put a bit of that money towards something brand new.

Save up.

The dreaded word: savings. Before you start to try and explain how little money you have in the first place, and how you don’t save, think of it this way. If you put away £50 a month, in eight months, you’ll have enough for that brand new PS4 you’ve been after. That’s not so long, and it’s not that much to put aside. A few nights out, a game, that’s all it costs each month to afford it. Saving money might not be the easiest way to afford something new, and it might not be the quickest, but it is the safest. You don’t rely on another company to give you money, or to value your old tech, and you don’t have to pay anything back with interest.

Take out a loan.

The last option also seems like the easiest and quickest option. You can take out a loan for the value of whatever it is that you want, the money will be in your account quickly, and you’ll be able to spend it instantly. Of course, you’ll have to pay it back, but then, you’ll have the gadgets or tech that you were after in the first place. If you do consider going down the loan route, then you might be interested in Totally Money’s ‘Cheapest Ways to Borrow’ tool, which can help you work out the least expensive way to borrow money for your situation. It may suggest a credit card is the cheapest way or if you’re looking at paying it off over a really long time, a loan may be for you.

How Much is your Mobile Worth

A lot of people have begun to sell their phones on after they have finished with them. Often, this is via the use of recycling websites such as Envirophone and Mazuma Mobile (there are many more) or even a highstreet store like Albemarle Bond. Now people are also starting to sell their mobiles on to get the value of the small amount of gold that can be used in the phones. Recycling your old phones can be useful in many ways. They can be taken apart and their various bits and pieces used to make other things. It also means you come away with a little extra cash in your pocket while being a lot more economical.

Gold can be used for micro voltages as they are a highly conductive metal – hence their use in a lot of things. One of the best uses of gold is that they don't corrode very easily, meaning the demand for it is a lot higher than you would think. The very small percentage of gold put into each mobile phone seems a minuscule amount, but put all this gold together, and there is a vast amount. Around one billion mobiles are made every year, each of them containing around 50 cents in gold. A lot of these aren't recycled, so it is a waste of the gold (and money) in this respect.  

Gold is one of the most important of metals in the industrial sector, particularly when it comes to electronics. Devices such as our mobile phones use such little currents and voltages and gold is the conductor used to try and carry the currents around your mobile and stop the corrosion from happening. This also means they are a lot more reliable. Devices such as televisions and calculators also have a bit of gold in them. You can also recycle these electronics although there aren't as many services readily available to do so.


Author - Chris Hutchinson

For Facebook, it still comes down to making money on mobile

When Facebook checks in with Wall Street for its quarterly review on Wednesday, it will hand in results for mobile advertising for just the fourth time and reveal its first full-year report card on revenue from mobile ads.

By most accounts, Facebook is expected to do well on the mobile front and make close to one-third of its advertising revenue from mobile placements, according to analysts' consensus. It would be a remarkable achievement, one that comes just in the nick of time to save Facebook from a decaying desktop business.

From zero to last-minute hero

RBC Capital Markets is particularly bullish on the subject and expects Facebook to pull in $487 million from mobile, which would be good enough for 34 percent of the firm's projected $1.43 billion second-quarter ad revenue estimate. Goldman Sachs holds a more conservative perspective and is predicting that Facebook will make $425 million in mobile ad revenue.

Whatever the number Facebook reports, it will be a marked improvement from the infinitesimal amount that Facebook made from mobile advertising at this time last year. Then, Facebook said it was bringing in $500,000 per day from mobile ads. Now, Facebook's mobile revenue may come in as high as $5.4 million a day, or up 980 percent from the year ago quarter...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET

iTunes is more than earning its keep

As writer John Paczkowski notes in an AllThingsD article today, iTunes was originally "conceived as a low-margin 'break-even' operation intended to drive hardware sales" -- in particular sales of iPods. Now that the iTunes Store is used to sell more than just songs and videos, it's turning into a "significant profit center for the company".

Paczkowski was commenting on numbers from Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, who notes that now that Apple has folded its in-house software group into iTunes, Apple software is having "significant implications for iTunes margins." The software, including items like iWork, iLife, Final Cut Pro, Aperture and more, has much higher profit margins than traditional iTunes items like music, books, video, and apps.

Dediu deduced that Apple sold about US$3.6 billion worth of its software products in 2012, and that profit margins for software is usually about 50 percent. If that's the case for Apple -- and Dediu is usually correct in his assumptions -- then iTunes is generating operating margins of about 15 percent on gross revenue. That's about $2 billion in profit for 2012, or as Paczkowski so eloquently put it, one "hell of a way to break even."

[Source: TUAW]

PayPal introducing new iOS SDK, APIs at SXSW

PayPal has announced that it's bringing a new iOS SDK and some new API tools to SXSW next week. As you might expect, the API will allow apps to use PayPal's tools to integrate payment information directly rather than having to go through a separate authorization page. As you can see on the official website, devs will be able to simply use a few method calls to set up PayPal payments, and get proof back that payment has taken place.

The API also includes credit card scanning software from, which PayPal acquired last year. And finally, PayPal's also released some code to work with other platforms and languages, including some Javascript buttons, as well as APIs for REST, OAuth and JSON.

So developers will have a lot of new tools to work with PayPal's payment system. It's unclear, however, what Apple thinks of this development -- it seems to me that paying through PayPal from an iOS app gets around Apple's requirement of taking a cut from everything sold on the App Store. But that's something that Apple and PayPal will need to work out. If you're a developer who wants to dive in to what's available here, you can download the PayPal iOS SDK for free right now.

Update: PayPal president David Marcus just contacted me via Twitter to say that this SDK is meant for service transactions, not digital sales, so it doesn't fall under Apple's rules. In other words, the tools here are to be used for selling things outside the iPhone with Apple's device, not selling iPhone content or other items directly.

[Source: TUAW]

Will Viewers Pay Subscriptions to Watch YouTubers?

Rumours have it that later this year, YouTube will start charging for paid subscriptions. Sources say that YouTube is already meeting with some big channels to gather ideas, such as Machinima and Fullscreen. If all of the rumours are valid, then YouTube will probably launch their new product sometime during Spring or Summer 2013.

YouTube would initially probably only launch twenty five paid channels. A Google spokesperson said

"We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we are looking at that.”

How much will it cost to pay for a subscription? Just like all rumors, we can't confirm anything. However, the general hypothesis is that each channel would cost $1.00 - $5.00 for you to watch. If you convert that into GBP, we're looking at something around £0.60 - £3.50 per paid subscription.

If YouTube does introduce paid subscriptions, I would like to see some additional features such as the ability to download for offline viewing.

Will you pay to watch YouTuber videos? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Jony Ive: Apple's goal isn't to make money

Speaking at the British Business conference running in London during the 2012 Olympics, Sir Jonathan Ive -- Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design -- told attendees that Apple's "goal isn't to make money." Instead, per the Daily Telegraph, he told attendees that the company's primary goal is to make great products.

Ive started with Apple in 1992 and attributes Apple's success to its "near-death" experiences in the mid-1990s. "Apple was very close to bankruptcy and to irrelevance [but] you learn a lot about life through death, and I learnt a lot about vital corporations by experiencing a non-vital corporation," said Ive.

Talking about late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Ive noted that "His observation was that the products weren't good enough and his resolve was we need to make better products. That stood in stark contrast to the previous attempts to turn the company around".

Apparently the fixation on making great products nearly resulted in the iPhone never making it to market. According to Ive, "There were multiple times when we nearly shelved the phone because there were multiple problems. I hold the phone to my ear and my ear dials a number. The challenge is that you have to develop all sorts of ear shapes, chin shapes, skin colour, hairdo... it seemed insurmountable".

Fortunately for the world and for Apple, the iPhone went on to be an amazing success, with 26 million of the devices selling in the last quarter alone.

[Source: TUAW]