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23 iPhone accessories that make great holiday gifts in 2019



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  • Anyone who has an iPhone is spoiled for choice when it comes to accessories, but that makes it hard to figure out which ones you’ll actually need.
  • We’ve collected 23 accessories that any iPhone owner will love to receive as gifts.
  • Shopping for more holiday gifts? Check out all our holiday gift guides on Insider Picks.

No matter what kind of budget you have, you can get plenty of excellent iPhone accessories for a decent price. Although fancy wireless headphones and high-end Bluetooth speakers may cost more, stylish lightning cables, fun phone grips, and excellent wireless chargers can be had for as little as $10.

As Insider Picks’ resident tech geek and iPhone lover, I’ve tested thousands of accessories over the years, and I’ve given many of these accessories as gifts myself over the years — all of which have been received with joy and requests for tech support.

Most of these items are available with two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so you’ll have them ready to gift them before you know it.

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at


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Nokia’s head of software says 5G development progressing



FILE PHOTO: Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

HELSINKI (Reuters) — The head of Nokia’s software business Bhaskar Gorti defended the Finnish mobile network maker on Wednesday against market fears that it is lagging behind its peers Ericsson and Huawei [HWT.UL] in 5G development.

“I don’t think we have a 5G problem,” Gorti told Reuters in an interview, calling its development a marathon where a lot of focus had been put on the first ten minutes of the race.

Last month Nokia slashed its profit outlook for 2019 and 2020, saying it needed to spend more to fend off its rivals.

That was in sharp contrast to Sweden’s Ericsson, which had lifted its market forecast for this year and its sales target for 2020 just a week earlier.

“We are in different phases and different leadership positions in different parts of that cycle,” Gorti said.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Smartphone deals make it easy to overspend



Overspending at the holidays isn’t a new problem, but a modern culprit may now be to blame: their smartphones.

Mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay typically are free, and people can use them to quickly purchase an item in a store or online. Without any speed bumps to checking out, consumers tend to not only spend more but make more frequent purchases, according to research published last year from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University and Nanjing University.

That can be doubly dangerous during the holidays, when checklists are long and stress levels high. Almost half of Americans say they experience intense personal stress around the holidays, while one in four expect to take on debt to finance their purchases, according to a recent survey from Credit Karma.

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“Everybody’s to-do list is a mile long, and we appreciate it when we don’t have to work that hard to take something off of that to-do list,” says Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at “That’s a lot of the appeal of these apps and these kinds of new mobile payments.”

But, he adds, “Much of the innovation that’s going on now, whether it’s contactless credit cards or apps or personal loans, is to separate folks from their money more easily and more quickly.”

Aside from mobile payment apps, merchants are also directly targeting consumers through ads on Instagram and other social media services. Mobile wallets and social media purchases are particularly popular with millennials and Gen Z consumers, according to new data from

Lastly, point-of-sale loans also encourage higher spending. These loans are offered by thousands of merchants including major retailers like Walmart, and through fintech firms such as Affirm and Afterpay when you check out.

Instead of paying upfront, these loans allow consumers to pay for a purchase over a number of weeks or months, or what Schulz describes as “layaway without the wait.” But they can spur consumers to spend more, with Affirm saying consumers boost their average order by about 90% when offered one of their loans.

Don’t ignore the little purchases

Consumers who use mobile wallets tend to spend 2.4% more on the typical transaction, according to the study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That might not seem like a lot, but consumers boosted the frequency of transactions by 24% when using mobile wallets. In other words, consumers end up spending more because they tend to buy more frequently when using mobile apps.

“Small, regular purchases add up and, if you’re not careful, this spending can have a negative impact on your overall financial health,” says Dana Marineau, vice president and financial advocate at Credit Karma.

Plan, plan, plan

Don’t start your holiday shopping without a budget, says Schulz. Aside from tracking your regular income and expenses, maintain a list of what you want to buy for friends and family members to avoid splurges or unplanned expenditures.

“For the average American this holiday season, a budget is absolutely crucial,” he says. “You can’t make great decisions about controlling your spending if you don’t know exactly how much you are spending and how much money you bring in.”

Research point-of-sale loans

Lastly, research point-of-sale loans before jumping into one, no matter how tempting it might be. Some loans charge interest, while others make money by charging late fees. Understanding the fine print will help you avoid an unwelcome surprise later on. And remember that these loans are another form of debt that are approved within seconds but lock you into months of repayments.

Wow her: 20 clever gift ideas your wife will love

“Debt is debt,” says Credit Karma’s Marineau. “The question is, can you take it on? This might seem obvious, but ask yourself if you can afford to take on more debt than you already have.” 

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Uber reports a sharp rise in government demands for user data – TechCrunch



Uber says the number of legal demands for riders’ data made by U.S. and Canadian authorities has risen sharply in the past year.

The ride-hailing company said the number of law enforcement demands for user data during 2018 are up 27% on the year earlier, according to its annual transparency report published Wednesday. Uber said the rise in demands was partly due to its business growing in size, but also a “rising interest” from governments to access data on its customers.

Uber said it received 3,825 demands for 21,913 user accounts from the U.S. government, with the company turning over some data in 72% of cases, during 2018.

That’s up from 2,940 demands for 17,181 user accounts a year earlier, with a slightly higher compliance rate of 73%.

Canadian authorities submitted 161 demands for data on 593 user accounts during 2018.

Uber said that the rise in demands for customer data presents a challenge for the ride-hailing company, previously valued at $82 billion, which went public in May. “Our responsibility to preserve consumer privacy while meeting regulatory and public safety obligations will become increasingly complex and challenging as we field a growing number of government requests for data every year,” said Uttara Sivaram, Uber’s global privacy and security public policy chief.

The company also said it disclosed ride information on 34 million users to U.S. regulators and 1.8 million users to Canadian regulators, such as local taxi and transport authorities. Uber said it is mandated to give over the information to regulators as part of the “bespoke legal and regulatory requirements to which we are subject,” which can include pickup and drop-off locations, fares, and other data that may “identify individual riders,” the company said.

Uber isn’t the only company fielding a record number of demands from governments. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have all reported a rise in government demands over the past year as their customer base continues to grow while governments become increasingly hungry for companies’ data.

But Uber’s figures only offer insight into only the largest portions of its businesses — its consumer and business ride-hailing services, food delivery, and electric scooters — and only covers the North America, despite operating in hundreds of cities around the world.

Despite the rise in overall law enforcement requests, Uber said it “has not received a national security request” to date.

Such disclosures are rare but not unheard of. Most national security demands, such as orders issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and FBI-issued subpoenas, are coupled with secrecy rules that prevent the companies from disclosing anything about the demand. By proactive posting these so-called “warrant canary” statements, companies can quietly reveal when they have received such orders by removing the statements from their websites.

Apple famously used a warrant canary in its first transparency report in the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. In 2016, Reddit quietly removed its warrant canary suggesting it had received a classified order.

Although the First Amendment protects government-compelled speech, the legality of warrant canaries remain legally questionable.


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