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Amazon Announces Kindle Worldwide Launch

Gordon Kelly


Amazon Announces Kindle Worldwide Launch

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).


Press Release


October 7, 2009, 12:33 pm

I've fancied one of these for a while - Just to sit there like Jean Luc Picard reading away ;)

Anyone know what they charge for a book? And can you view normal text files?


October 7, 2009, 12:59 pm

That's a bit harsh on O2.

Even if HDPA/3G isn't widespread, their EDGE/GPRS service (more than adequate for the Kindle) is just fine.


October 7, 2009, 1:52 pm

At last :) Would really like to get my hands on one of these, I frequently take more than one book with me when travelling or to work so this will make my life much easier.

On a side note "(or if you are an O2 customer currently just substitute 'an area of poor reception' for 'the UK')" - I Lol'ed and looked stupid at work :D


October 7, 2009, 2:38 pm

But.. it looks like it's from 2001 - the actual year not the film. A big 1st Gen iPod. I think I'll wait to see if the Apple tablet device can bring any innovation to this field because right now, the aesthetics and monochrome display look terribly dated.

Matt G Baish

October 7, 2009, 2:58 pm

"soon to be joined on our shores by the equally exciting Sony Daily Reader"

Really? I thought this was "unlikely any time soon"?

I ask because this is what I would go for rather than the Kindle (which is a much too bulky & `closed` system for my liking). I have the Sony PRS-505 which I still contest (for me at least) is the best value gadget I have *ever* owned (i.e. for the amount of use it gets). But it would be nice to get a larger/touchscreen & wireless option of the Daily Reader. Mmmmmm.


October 7, 2009, 3:16 pm

We have to order from amazon.com :( I ordered anyway, cant wait


October 7, 2009, 3:17 pm

Anyone else noticed the 'small print':

"Your international shipment is subject to customs duties, import taxes and other fees levied by the destination country. We will show you these fees upon checkout."

Which equates to $344.98/£234 (and the $45 import fee is a 'deposit'!).


October 7, 2009, 3:33 pm

I feel dirty saying this, but, thank you for the constant digs at O2. Bad press is likely the only way they'll improve - they certainly don't seem to be listening to their customers.

Finding the Kindle relatively uninspiring still at the moment. But then if I read a massive amount of books that might not be the case. I think this is just one of those devices where I'm fine to sit out for as long as possible until somebody hits the nail on the head.


October 7, 2009, 5:31 pm

Way too expensive, drop the 3G, put in wifi and price it at $99 and watch it fly off the shelves.

I mean, people with iPod Touches get by just fine without 3G, this can too I think.


October 7, 2009, 6:49 pm

Will this be the kindle 2 or kindle DX or both? - or the kindle 3!!!! - you never saw that coming :-)


October 7, 2009, 6:51 pm

@Andrew Violet - says in the second line of the story! (you didn't even get that far? ;)


October 7, 2009, 7:21 pm

@Eotris, well-spotted!

@Topic: We'll all be screaming in unison when they announce the 3G sim partnership is with O2, won't we?! :-|


October 7, 2009, 7:25 pm

Re: "Interestingly Amazon is equipping the international Kindle with 3G, but it makes no reference to WiFi as seen in the US version.

To clarify, I don't think the U.S. Kindles have wifi either. Amazon's descriptive information for all of its models says: "Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots..."


October 7, 2009, 8:53 pm

@Ohmz 'price it at $99 and watch it fly off the shelves'

No sh*t Sherlock. I always find this kind of comment amusing. Price something at significantly below the current market price and watch it sell well......


October 7, 2009, 10:33 pm

@ OldTimer, I guess you missed this part "...drop the 3G, put in wifi...", my comment was more about getting rid of the useless 3G and put in wifi, I mean how often are you going to be downloading books?, so that it could priced more attractively.

I always find this kind of comment amusing. Pick out one part and...


October 8, 2009, 12:32 am

nah sorry bout that - i'm a headline sorta guy (not daily mail headlines though LOL)


October 8, 2009, 12:48 am

@Ohmz The point is that it will take a lot more than stripping out the 3G chip to achieve the price point of US$99. Bear in mind you can buy a USB 3G Dongle for less than US$30 retail.

The point of 3G is to download newspapers etc, not books.

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