Google Officially Launches Tez Mobile Payments App in India (Sep 18, 2017)
Google is reportedly getting ready to release a new mobile payment service explicitly for the Indian market, with localizations intended to integrate with payment mechanisms unique to that country. The name is Tez, which means fast in Hindi, and it’s just the latest example of big tech companies making significant local adaptations to their products, services, and business models to fit into India, along with Amazon’s forthcoming first party smartphones (which I’m assured are launching soon), Apple’s local manufacturing, and Facebook’s work with local wireless operators and others. Other than its local manufacturing and fairly standard language support, though, Apple has largely resisted localization in India, unlike China, where it’s made far larger concessions to local customs and platforms. Others are arguably willing to bend their usual rules more to be successful there than Apple is, despite Tim Cook’s frequent remarks about how important the market is. That may need to change if Apple is really to break through, though there continue to be big additional barriers to Apple building a big business there (notably income levels).
AT&T More than Doubles DirecTV Now Live Local Channel Lineup (Jun 30, 2017)
It’s clear that Amazon has felt the need to compete with Netflix’s global launch almost a year ago, but its own global offering is sparse and inconsistent. The lack of localization (or in some cases any local offering at all) is one of the most overlooked issues in consumer tech – so many services we take for granted in the US simply don’t exist or are pale imitations of themselves in other markets. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix have all done well to make their offerings at least somewhat global, but Amazon is still very early in this game.