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Are Your Gadgets Getting Too Expensive?

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With every passing year we see the next iteration of the phone we love, or are expected to upgrade a piece of software or hardware to remain at the cutting edge of technology. But are these prices getting so fantastically high that the average student can’t afford to be on that edge?

For – Joe Keep

These upgrades aren’t all that pricey. With the speed that they are coming out, it creates only small incremental price increases, especially in the area of TVs. TV prices are so incredibly cheap for what you get, a 40 inch LED, HD ready TV for about £300, that’s incredible pricing.

This is all possible because of what is coming next, 4k and 5k TVs. Price drops are happening purely to fund the next step, but this step won’t be occurring until late 2015 or 2016 meaning that the investment will be well worth it.

This isn’t just limited to TVs though, cameras are also being made cheaper in order to push the development of the higher class, professional cameras.

The amateur and point and click cameras however form a large section of sales for this industry, especially with the advent of Facebook and the importance being placed on the photos uploaded, have made the affordability of these paramount.

But, with the advances in professional cameras, we see elements that seem to be needed for the amateurs, such as auto focus, being passed down the ranges. So, not only do people receive a better quality product, but they get it at a much cheaper price than expected. The main question to be asked is, how long will this last?

We may be getting all this now, but what about when there are no major developments in the pipeline? This could be where gadgets begin getting far too expensive for a student. However, it also has to be stressed that a lot of industries in which the prices are acceptable and seem too good to be true are failing industries.

TVs are trying to boost sales because people are moving to their laptops and computers for TV with the rise of Netflix and catch up services, while cameras are at the hands of the all-encompassing mobile phone. Again, it we must ask, when will this come to a close and stabilise meaning we see a rise in prices?

However, for the time being, it is all coming up students in these areas.

Against – Nathan Bullen

I think that the sky high prices of the latest personal gadgets is horrendous for students. We all like to have the latest gadgets, but many of us will struggle to afford the latest tech.

An example of this is the new iPhone 6. With companies asking for upfront prices of over £100 and a monthly price over contract of £30 many people with full time jobs would find it hard to have that kind of money to put towards a phone a month.

Or you could buy one outright for at least £500, again another figure that seems like an awful lot for a phone. With the new iPhone, it means that the iPhone 5’s are not the newest model their price has started to plummet and considering the major differences are the size of the screen and thickness, it seems like a good idea to get that instead.

Prices for the iPhone 5 are now around £300 new and £200 used, so you could save yourself between £200-300 just for the sake of a few inches of screen size. There’s also the issue that in some circumstances, the iPhone 6 can bend which is not something you’d ideally want when you’re spending so much money on a phone.

Students are now struggling to afford the top ranges of phones, however, this isn’t just a phone issue. Two of the gaming industry’s most successful companies, Sony and Microsoft, also seem to be doing a good job of pricing out a huge amount of their target audience.

With their PlayStation 4 and Xbox One costing around £350 (a comedown of £50 from when they launched in November 2013) each new with a game and controller it is not as costly as the new iPhone you may think, but when you consider each game costs around £50, it soon becomes just as costly.

Want another controller so your friend can play? That’d be another £40. Want a headset so you can speak to your friends online? That’s at least another £25.

The price of gadgets like the iPhone and PlayStation has left me, like many other students, prepared to wait and wait until the price finally drops low enough so that we can afford them while still being able to pay for somewhere to live and being able to eat.

 

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About Author

Joe Keep

Games & Gadgets Editor 2014/15, Treasurer 2014/15

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