Amazon takes Kindle e-book reader worldwide - Mobile World Live

Amazon takes Kindle e-book reader worldwide

07 OCT 2009

Amazon today announced that its high-profile Kindle e-reader (pictured, right) will be available outside of the US from October 19. In a statement, Amazon touted the launch to more than 100 countries, priced at US$279. The Kindle Store offers over 200,000 English-language books, typically priced less than physical editions. Over 85 US and international newspapers and magazines are also available in the store for single purchase or subscription.

The move is interesting for a number of reasons. Amazon, which introduced the Kindle in 2007, is trying to extend its dominance in the electronic-reader market to the rest of the world. However, whereas the US product downloads content via Sprint’s 3G network, the international product – dubbed ‘Kindle with US & International Wireless’ – will use US rival AT&T’s international partner network. Amazon has not yet struck individual deals with operators in the 100+ countries. As the international product is only currently available from the main Amazon.com website, rather than Amazon’s local sites, buying one in the UK, for example, will cost US$279 for the device, but a further US$20.98 in shipping and handling, plus an import fees deposit of US$45. Moreover, UK users won’t be able to read blogs on the device or use the Kindle’s Web browser, and will pay for their e-books and publications in US dollars. “In the future, we plan to introduce a UK-centric Kindle experience, enabling you to purchase Kindle and Kindle books in sterling from our Amazon.co.uk site,” said a message on the UK site. Meanwhile, Amazon also today announced it has dropped the price of its original US product from US$299 to US$259. The device became a surprise hit after launch two years ago and analysts believe Amazon has sold hundreds of thousands in America alone. Such success has led to rival product launches from the likes of Sony and Irex. 
 

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