Tesla vehicles are popular in Norway, Apple will increase its battery replacement fee, and social media giants may face more government regulations this year.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, January 3rd, and I am your host, Samira Balsara.
Tesla sold more cars in Norway than any other brand for a second consecutive year, clinching a 12.2 per cent share of the overall market ahead of Volkswagen with 11.6 per cent. According to Reuters, four out of five new cars sold in Norway in 2022 were battery powered, led by Tesla. Norway has become the world’s highest proportion of electric vehicles, now making it an optimal space for automakers launching models. And according to the Norwegian Road Federation, the share of battery electric vehicles increased to 79.3 per cent of all new cars in 2022 from 65 per cent.
The price to replace batteries in Apple products will increase in March. According to reports from 9to5Mac, the company made the announcement on the devices’ repair pages under its price estimators. The price hike varies depending on the device. For iPhones, Apple’s site says “the out-of-warranty battery service fee will be increased by $20 for all iPhone models prior to iPhone 14.” For MacBook Air models the price will increase by $30. iPads will also see a price increase of about $20.
Social media companies may face more government regulation in 2023. Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher and Senator Amy Klobuchar have both confirmed that rules for social media giants will continue into the new year. On January 1, Gallagher compared TikTok to “digital fentanyl” on NBC’s “Meet the Press” while adding that he views the app as dangerous, addictive and destructive. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who was also on the segment said she believes the U.S. is far behind when it comes to social media regulation. Haugen added that social media platforms operate using similar algorithms, and that regulators should emphasize the need for more transparency about how these apps work.
Chinese companies are paying huge sums of money for virtual employees. Tech company Baidu said the number of virtual people projects it’s worked on for clients has doubled since 2021, with prices ranging from $2,800 to $14,300 per year. According to a CNBC report, these virtual people are a combination of animation, sound tech and machine learning that create digitized human beings who can sing and interact on a livestream. In August, Beijing city announced a plan to build up the municipal virtual people industry into one valued at more than 50 billion yuan by 2025. In fact, a survey published by Kantar revealed that at least 36 per cent of consumers had watched a virtual influencer or digital celebrity perform in the last year and in 2023, 45 per cent of advertisers said they might sponsor a virtual influencer’s performance or invite a virtual person to join a brand’s event.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.