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Amazon Announces Kindle Worldwide Launch

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Much like Amazon MP3, all good things come to those who wait {a really, really long time}...

Amazon has today at long last confirmed the Kindle will start selling to more than 100 countries around the world (yes, including the UK). It will be the second generation Kindle and as yet there is no sign of a wider release for the enlarged Kindle DX.

"We have millions of customers in countries all over the world who read English-language books," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "Kindle enables these customers to think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds."

Interestingly Amazon is equipping the international Kindle with 3G, but it makes no reference to WiFi as seen in the US version. In fact Amazon stresses "Kindle utilizes the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so you never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot." Amazon also hasn't said whether the free Wikipedia and email access available in the US translates here or who is providing the 3G network access.

Still other key specs are all the same: 6in e-ink display, 2GB of internal memory, rear speakers since the Kindle can also read out text, and a full Qwerty keyboard. Battery life also works "for weeks on a single charge" and USB syncing is available in case you live in an area of poor reception (or if you are an O2 customer currently just substitute 'an area of poor reception' for 'the UK').

Price and availability? Touchdown is 19 October (plenty of time before Christmas) and a global price of $279 (£189) has been set. In the US Amazon has also announced the Kindle price will drop to $259 (£176), but before you all get jealous remember that doesn't include tax.

So with the Kindle soon to be joined on our shores by the equally exciting Sony Daily Reader it looks like the eBook war is now well and truly on...

Update: Amazon has confirmed the Kingle DX will also get an international launch "sometime next year". Little else is known other than it will be $20 more than the already pricey US version ($489 - £324).

Link:
Press Release

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