Amazon’s Kindle goes international

09/10/2009

Amazon plans to start selling its Kindle reader in over 100 countries and territories on October 19, and the company has already started booking pre-orders for the device on its site. Amazon is selling the Kindle with U.S. & International Wireless to customers in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and South America, for $279 for a reader with a 6-inch display and the ability to wirelessly download books and other content globally, the company said.

09/10/2009

The Kindle will not be sold in China because Amazon is unable to ship the Kindle or offer Kindle content to Chinese customers, the company said.

Best-seller books will cost $11.99 or more for international customers, with about 100,000 other titles available for less than $5.99, Amazon said. These prices are higher than in the U.S. where most best sellers cost $9.99.

As Amazon is selling from the U.S. store, the prices of the books in international markets are denominated in U.S. dollars rather than local currencies.

Amazon also said that it is lowering the price of the 6-inch display Kindle in the U.S. from $299 to $259.

Our View

In a world of converging devices we shouldn't need Kindle. Smart phones and tablet PCs ought to be doing the job of lightweight reading devices,and providing a seamless way to download content and read books and newspapers. But the technology isn't converging fast enough and Amazon's vast growth in Kindle content sales quantifies this technology gap. Kindle will probably enjoy a few good years in the European market, and longer if the screen manufacturers can't find a way of matching up to the low power needs that have made e-paper devices practical both easy on the eye and longlasting away from the charger.

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