General Motors Stories June 23, 2015

A day after the first CarPlay-equipped Corvette headed out to dealers and buyers in the form of the 650HP Z06, General Motors announced that it will be available later this year in two Buick and three GMC models. This adds to the 14 Chevrolet models scheduled to see some CarPlay love this year.

CarPlay will be available in an 8-inch display on the 2016 model Buick LaCrosse and Regal, together with the 2016 GMC Canyon, Yukon and Sierra. As usual with car year conventions, all five cars will go on sale later this year. All models will eventually offer the Android Auto platform as well, but only the GMC Sierra will support Google’s system at launch.

While there are many CarPlay-equipped cars on the way, only two have so far gone on sale …  expand full story

General Motors Stories June 2, 2014

Apple’s gross revenues of $170B were enough for the world’s most valuable company by market cap to climb one place in the Fortune 500 ranking, from 6th to 5th place.

Apple was placed behind Walmart, Exxon, Chevron and conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway (which owns large chunks of such well-known brands as Heinz, Coca-Cola, Mars and American Express). Phillips 66, General Motors, Ford Motor, General Electric and Valero Energy make up the rest of the top 10.

While Apple ranks fifth in terms of revenues, its huge cash reserves mean that it has tended to alternate with Exxon as the world’s most valuable company when measured by market capitalization, and is arguably significantly undervalued by most measures …  expand full story

General Motors Stories March 3, 2014

Update: Volvo has posted a CarPlay experience video.

Apple has officially announced CarPlay in a press release. CarPlay is Apple’s new branding for the iOS in the Car feature originally announced at WWDC last year. Apple says CarPlay enables users to make calls, navigate maps, listen to music and access messages from the dash of compatible cars. Siri can be activated by pressing the dedicated button on the steering wheel. Apple describes the system as a “smarter, safer and more fun way” of using an iPhone in the car.

As previously reported, CarPlay will be demoed in cars by Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo this week with the cars going on sale later in the year. Apple says many manufacturers are onboard, including BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota. Apple has also a launched a new section of its website to describe the various features of CarPlay.

expand full story

General Motors Stories January 28, 2014

Earlier this month we reported that a developer was seemingly able to get Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car feature running through what we assumed was the iOS Simulator. Today, the same developer, Steven Troughton-Smith, has posted the video embedded above showing the feature actually up and running in a 800×480 Simulator window. Using the iPhone Simulator and iOS 7.0.3, the video shows the Maps app, a crude multitasking tray of sorts, and the ability to search by voice to navigate. No other apps are shown in the video, but it does appear that media controls of some kind are in the multitasking tray like in previous versions of iOS.

We noted before that the design had changed quite significantly since Apple first showed off the feature on stage at WWDC last year. The first set of screenshots posted showed a horizontal navigation bar, but the new video shows a design that’s much closer to what Apple showed on stage and what it is currently displaying on its website. Smith also made some notes of his own after playing with the simulator: expand full story

General Motors Stories January 2, 2014

Wells Fargo downgrades AAPL based on gross margin concerns

Well Fargo has downgraded AAPL stock from ‘outperform’ to ‘market perform,’ citing the fact that the company’s gross margins have typically fallen 2.25 percent in the two quarters following the launch of a brand new iPhone model (rather than an S upgrade).

Our bullish thesis on Apple had been predicated on the expectation for gross margin (GM) expansion driven by the 5s cycle. While we still have conviction in the gross margin thesis (and the potential for iPad/iPhone unit upside), we believe this may be largely embedded into the valuation.

The bank has not changed its valuation range of $536 to $581, though is presumably now expecting something toward the lower end of the range.

Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um said that he also believed the balance of power may be shifting away from Apple to the carriers as they shift away from subsidized deals (read: disguised loans) to higher up-front costs and/or separate phone financing.

General Motors Stories October 15, 2013

Siri Eyes Free coming to six more 2014 Chevy models

GM has announced that six more of its 2014 Chevrolet models will have Siri Eyes Free compatibility via its MyLink infotainment system. The company was the first company to offer Siri Eyes Free, initially on its Sonic and Spark models.

  • Camaro
  • Cruze
  • Equinox
  • Malibu
  • SS
  • Volt

With Siri Eyes Free, drivers can make calls, hear & dictate text messages, check & add calendar appointments and of course play music, all via voice.  A button on the steering wheel is used to activate the service.

“The response to Siri Eyes Free integration in Chevy Sonic and Spark from our customers has been remarkable,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet vice president of U.S. Marketing. “Easy, reliable and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers, and Siri complements MyLink’s existing capabilities to help deliver an incredible driving experience, so we’re excited to expand this to even more customers.”

In Eyes Free mode, the iPhone’s screen remains off during usage to minimise distractions.

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