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Luxury electric vehicle manufacturers are eroding Tesla’s advantage



Luxury electric vehicle manufacturers are eroding Tesla's advantage

Electric-vehicle sales seem to be traveling in two directions at once.

On the one hand, that EV sales are rising and that it seems like everyone and their brother is purchasing one, yet these claims are swiftly succeeded by alarming news reports that show the complete opposite.

For example, Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ), a major player in the car rental industry, recently announced that it intended to sell off about one-third of its global fleet of electric cars due to declining resale values and rising repair expenses.

According to the business, it will reinvest the earnings from the sale of about 20,000 EVs this year to purchase conventional gas-powered vehicles.

According to a new study by S&P Global Mobility, households with automobiles that run on internal combustion engines are more likely to switch to hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles than entirely electric ones.

Consequently, a number of automakers have shelved or canceled plans to increase the number of electric vehicles, and former President Donald Trump has attacked EVs, saying they’re “too expensive” and “don’t go far enough,” according to CNN.

EVs are a rapidly expanding auto market

However, according to Cox Automotive’s Kelley Blue Book, last year’s fastest-growing car-sales category was electric vehicles, which accounted for 7.6% of the U.S. vehicle market in 2023 (up from 5.9% in 2022).

With sales that were 52% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2022, EV sales set records for volume and market share.

From October until the end of December 2023, 317,168 EVs were purchased by Americans, accounting for 8.1% of total new automobile sales.

According to Stephanie Valdez Streaty, director of Industry Insights at Cox Automotive, “there is a strong momentum for more when it comes to EVs – more new product, more incentives, more inventory, more leasing, and more infrastructure – and that momentum is not going away.”

According to Streaty, it appears increasingly likely that internal combustion engine and electric vehicle (EV) transactions will be priced equally in the upcoming years.

She stated that purchasers, who currently consider EV pricing to be unaffordable, will benefit from this. She stated that “our team forecasts that EV share of the total U.S. market will reach 10% in 2024.”

However, the average cost of a new EV last month was estimated by Kelley Blue Book to be $50,789, indicating that EVs are still pricey.

Changes in tax incentives will benefit and hurt consumers in the next year. Dealers will be able to apply tax credits at the moment of sale, but fewer vehicles now qualify.

Additionally, Kelley Blue Book stated that the slowdown is real even though records were established.

According to Kelley Blue Book, “the EV market in the U.S. is still growing, but not as fast.”

That might be a challenge for Tesla, particularly in the fiercely competitive luxury market.

Cox: The EV ‘Year of More’ is 2024

With 55% of the electric cars that Americans bought last year coming from the Elon Musk-led company, Tesla (TSLA) continued to lead the EV industry.

“Tesla remains the undisputed champion of EV sales in the U.S.,” Kelley Blue Book said.

Although the sales numbers were lower than 65% in 2022, Kelley Blue pointed out that Tesla was able to hold onto its top spot in 2023 because to an intensive price-cutting drive.

The Model X full-size SUV saw a nearly 12% decline in sales, the Model Y midsize SUV saw a roughly 57% increase in sales, and the Model S luxury sedan saw a nearly 50% decline in sales.

Last year, the Model Y overtook the Toyota (TM) Corolla to become the best-selling car globally, making history as the first electric car to hold the top place.

“One of the most popular electric cars on the road thanks to excellent electric range, loads of in-car tech, and swift acceleration, especially in the Performance trim,” is how the auto review company Edmunds describes the Model Y.

Tesla surpassed BMW (BMWYY) by more than 156,000 registrations to become the best-selling luxury brand in the United States in 2022, according to Automotive News.

But in 2023, BMW and other German automakers performed well, reducing Tesla’s lead. Sales of BMW nearly tripled (up 191.3%) for the year and more than doubled (up 102% ) for the fourth quarter. 2023 saw sales of the BMW i4 and iX increase by 205% and 135%, respectively, year over year.

Mercedes-Benz MBGYY sales increased 90.4% in the fourth quarter and 225.7% in the entire year. With the EQS leading the way, it sold over 40,000 units of its EQ series models.

EVs made up 12.5% of all new BMW sales in the previous year. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz and Audi saw growth in their electric vehicle sales in 2023, making up 11.4% and 11% of all brand sales, respectively.

To put things in perspective, sales of Tesla’s high-end Model S and Model X fell by 50% and 12%, respectively, in 2023.

“The Cox Automotive Economic and Industry Insights team is calling 2024 ‘the Year of More’ when it comes to EVs,” the firm said. “More new product, more incentives, more inventory, more leasing, more infrastructure – all the more will combine to push EV sales higher in the year ahead.”

This could indicate that this year’s tendencies in the luxury car market hold true.


The First PC Emulator for the iPhone and iPad has been Approved by Apple



UTM SE is the first PC emulator for iPhone and iPad that is accessible on the App Store, and Apple has changed its mind and accepted it. This program enables you to run older versions of macOS, Windows, and other operating systems on your iPhone or iPad.

The Original iPad and iPhone PC Emulation

In April, Apple updated its App Store Guidelines to permit game emulators, a move that was implemented globally and in the European Union as well. As a result of this modification, several game emulators—including the well-known Nintendo emulator Delta—have been released on the App Store.

Nevertheless, in June, Apple banned the PC emulation program UTM SE, even after the Store Guidelines were modified. In addition, Apple removed the software from third-party app stores in the European Union in addition to the global software store.

Even though playing vintage games is one of the main reasons people use PC emulators like UTM, Apple’s answer at the time was that only “retro game” emulators were allowed, not PC emulators. Widespread criticism of the judgment resulted in possible action from the European Commission.

But this past weekend, the UTM SE developers revealed via a social media post that Apple had changed its mind. The App Store now offers UTM SE for download. Additionally, it will soon be accessible in the EU through AltStore PAL. Apple hasn’t offered any explanation for the reason behind this turnaround.

Using the PC emulator UTM SE, you can play retro games and applications.

  • supports text-only operating systems in terminal mode and graphics in VGA mode.
  • simulates PPC, RISC-V, and x86 architectures.
  • Use pre-built machines or start from scratch with a custom configuration.
  • constructed using the robust and popular emulator QEMU

One thing to keep in mind is that JIT compilers cannot be used with apps distributed on iOS. This implies that the iPhone and iPad emulators using UTM SE won’t be as capable as those on other platforms in terms of functionality and performance.

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Bixby, Samsung’s Enhanced Voice Assistant, will Debut this Year with its Own AI



According to the CEO of Samsung’s mobile division, the company will release an enhanced version of its voice assistant Bixby this year, which will be powered by its own artificial intelligence models.

Because ChatGPT from OpenAI has become so popular, digital assistants are now again in the spotlight. According to TM Roh, the CEO of Samsung’s mobile division, the South Korean tech giant’s own large language model, or LLM, will be used in a further enhanced version of Bixby that will be unveiled this year.

Through a translator, Roh added in Korean, “We’re going to advance Bixby with the application of Gen AI technology.”

In 2017, Bixby made its debut alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone. Among the many features of the voice assistant are suggestions for restaurants and real-time translations. With the Bixby Vision function, users may scan objects in front of them with their phone’s camera to get information about them from Bixby.

Artificial intelligence that can produce material, such as images or answers to queries, is known as generative AI, or Gen AI. The AI model that powers generative AI, known as an LLM, is trained on massive volumes of data.

But according to Roh, Samsung will continue to support numerous voice assistants on its products. For example, the newest Samsung devices come with Google’s AI helper.

Just over a month has passed since Apple said Siri, its assistant, will receive an AI update. Roh has now confirmed its Bixby upgrade. If Siri needs more answers, she will be able to use OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The Bixby update is a component of Samsung’s larger campaign to promote AI capabilities across its line of products. In an attempt to persuade consumers to switch to more expensive smartphones, the Samsung announced some new AI features along with two new foldable devices on Wednesday: the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6.

According to Roh, “We are reinforcing and bringing more AI capabilities to our products,”

“As consumers use more AI capabilities they can actually feel the convenience and benefits they bring. I believe strongly that these Galaxy AI, mobile AI are strong motivations and drivers for the purchase of new products.”

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Samsung Unveils its Generative AI-Powered Galaxy Fold 6 and Flip 6 Smartphones



Samsung unveiled its newest foldable smartphones on Wednesday at its Unpacked presentation in Paris, France. The Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6, which run Android and are powered by Google (GOOG, GOOGL), are a major point of differentiation for Samsung in its protracted competition with Apple (AAPL) for supremacy in the global smartphone market.

Similar to Apple, Samsung is positioning its generative AI capabilities as a key differentiator for these two phone models. The Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 are priced at $1,099 and $1,899, respectively, which is $100 higher than their predecessors and places them firmly in the premium smartphone segment. In comparison, the starting price of Apple’s bigger Pro Max model is $1,199, while that of the 15 Pro model is $999. The starting prices for Samsung’s S24 and S24+ are $799 and $999, respectively. $1,299 is the price of its top-tier S24 Ultra.

The Flip 6 and Fold 6 from Samsung are being marketed as more than just foldable phones. Its Galaxy AI platform is presenting them as potent, generative AI-capable gadgets. The software offers a variety of generative AI functions, from real-time translation and conversational capabilities to photo editing tools and productivity alternatives. Samsung unveiled it earlier this year alongside its S24 lineup.

The company claims that among Samsung customers, artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly popular. According to the tech giant, 77% of S24 users utilize its AI capabilities once a week. The most used ones are Samsung’s Edit Suggestions and Google’s Circle to Search. With Circle to Search, you may take a picture of an object or text and use it to translate or do an online search. As the name suggests, Edit Recommendations offers generative AI text recommendations for emails and text messages that are being written.

According to Samsung, the distinctive shapes of the Fold 6 and Flip 6 make them particularly useful for utilizing Galaxy AI functions. The Interpreter app now has a new conversation feature that lets you communicate with someone in multiple languages. Your comments are automatically heard and shown on the cover screen and main screen of the phone.

Let’s say you are conversing in English with someone who speaks French exclusively. The Flip 6 can be folded like a makeup compact, or the Fold 6 can be folded so that it rests on the table like a tiny laptop. Then, the conversation feature will show your words on the external screen and your friend’s words on the main screen. The goal is to enable smooth, real-time communication between you. Google’s foldable smartphone, the Pixel Fold, has a feature comparable to this one.

Additionally, Google’s Gemini app, which uses its own AI algorithms, is pre-installed on both phones. Gemini may be accessed by simply saying “Hey, Google” or by swiping on the corner of the screen. Gemini offers a wide range of services, such as assistance with idea generation for tasks such as job assignments, travel schedules, locating locations on Google Maps, and more.

In terms of efficiency, Galaxy AI now offers a new PDF translation feature for the Samsung Notes app, in addition to editing suggestions. This feature, appropriately enough, can translate your PDFs on your phone while maintaining the document’s layout. It’s likely that you’ve attempted to open and translate a PDF in the past, only to have the formatting completely collapse and become unreadable. Translations into PDFs ought to help get rid of that.

With the exception of a few minor adjustments, the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 are essentially the same designs as the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 from the previous year. To feel more like a typical rectangular smartphone when closed, the Z Fold 6 has a slightly larger 6.3-inch cover screen. Even though it’s only a 0.1-inch increase, the greater display real estate should prove to be a nice upgrade, given it was one of my complaints with the phone.

Together with a new ultra-wide-angle camera, the Z Flip receives the same primary camera as the company’s flagship S24. Additionally, Samsung claims that since the phone’s battery is identical to that of the S24, customers will no longer have to forgo overall functionality in favor of the Flip over its mainline flagship.

A 50-megapixel primary camera, a newly developed 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom and a maximum 30-x digitally enhanced zoom are all included in the Fold.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 CPU and 12GB of RAM are standard in the Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6. While the Fold has 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage, the Flip also has 256GB and 512GB.

There are other foldable smartphones available than Samsung’s. Motorola and other Chinese smartphone manufacturers, like Huawei and Xiaomi, also sell foldable smartphones. However, Samsung’s Galaxy AI platform might guarantee that those shopping for foldables continue to think of it first.

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