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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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Toys R Us to Sell the Kindle Starting July 31

Toys R Us joins Target, Staples, Best Buy, Radio Shack and AT&T in selling Kindles in their stores.  So, from these stores, the e-reader reaches out to consumers in electronics, business, wireless, and now parents and children.

Why sell Kindles in a toy store?  It sounded kind of farfetched to me at first.  The e-reader has started to reach out to children as an educational tool.  K-12 schools are starting to experiment with using e-readers for textbooks and for other educational needs.  I’ve seen articles floating around that show that school libraries are testing e-readers and tablets for use.

Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are targeting the back to school crowd this year.  Office Max will be selling the Nook around the same time.

It also catches the eye of parents who shop at the toy store.  Just puts the Kindle out there in yet another way.  It will be well positioned for the holiday crowd on Black Friday.

The major shopping times are going to be overflowing with new gadgets this year.  The thought is kind of overwhelming.  But, the competition will be fierce, which means awesome prices.

Toys ‘R Us will offer the Kindle 3G and Wi-Fi, as well as the Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers.  In addition to the device itself, there will be a good number of accessories available.

I remember, just a couple of years ago, the Kindle was only limited to online sales.  It is now reaching out to brick and mortar consumers of all ages and interests.  Those who were skittish about buying online have a lot of venues to choose from.

The popular e-reader can be used as an important tool for education in several ways.  The lure of a cool new gadget gets kids excited about reading.  Kindle games and applications have been developed to help kids with learning math and spelling.  There are also interactive Kindle books available that are packed with adventure.

Lastly, the lightweight e-reader is portable and fits easily into a backpack.  I think the Kindle can be used as an important tool in encouraging all children to enjoy reading.  It offers so many types of reading material, from books to magazines, and even graphic novels.  There is something for everyone.

 

Kindle 3G w/ Special Offers Now Only $139

Looks like the Kindle 3G has just become that much more affordable. Apparently, thanks to an agreement with AT&T involving Kindle advertisements, Amazon has been able to drop the price of their 3G model noticeably. Now, for $139, just $25 more than the Kindle WiFi w/ Special Offers, you can’t really argue with the cost of convenience.

The move is well timed, given the current level of competition in the eReader world.  While the Kindle is still pretty much on top, especially internationally, the new Nook Simple Touch and Kobo eReaders are heating things up.  Since there are a few months to wait before the next iteration of the Kindle hits shelves, so to speak, it is important to emphasize the things that they have and nobody else does.  Things like the only really useful 3G connection on an eReader.  There isn’t one at all on the new Nook or Kobo releases, and the Nook 1st Edition is very limited in many ways including the 3G, by comparison.

This also does a lot to demonstrate the potential in the Kindle’s advertising support system.  A surprising number of people got upset at the Kindle w/ Special Offers being discounted rather than entirely free on release.  While I believe that to have been a bit optimistic for something being subsidized by an untried source of revenue, as advertisers catch on the prices will continue to drop.  In addition to the new deal with AT&T, the details of which have not been publicly released to the best of my knowledge, the Kindle is currently being sponsored by such companies as General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, and Chase.  If they were not seeing positive results, it would seem unlikely that even another big advertising partner would be enough to bring a price drop along with it.

For those who are in the market for a new eReader, the Kindle 3G w/ Special Offers retains all of its original functionality.  The screen, battery life, interface, and general readability are all as great as ever.  Even the ads, as much as they are conceptual abhorent to many when talking about their inclusion in a reading experience, are unobtrusive and never even hinted at while you are looking at a book.  The only major differences over the Kindle 3G are that this one is $50 cheaper and gives you something besides the slideshow of author portraits to see as screensavers.

For now this discount only applies to the 3G option, leaving the Kindle WiFi w/ Special Offers witting at $114.  Still a great price, but I would not be at all surprised to see a major sale in the near future.  While it is conceivable that the extra discount has at its core a service agreement that makes the 3G coverage on new Kindles cheaper for Amazon to maintain, which would in turn not apply to the WiFi models, a $25 difference doesn’t exactly set the two Kindles apart much and a $99 Kindle would make for some truly excellent sales numbers if analysts are to be believed.  Something to keep an eye on in weeks to come.

Kindle Coming to AT&T Stores & Free Kindle Rumors

Kindle Comes to AT&T Stores

Beginning on Sunday, March 6th, customers at AT&T owned stores nation-wide should be seeing something new on the shelves.  The Kindle 3G, yes only the $189 model at this point since it is a cellular store, will be on display and available for customers wanting to grab on the spot or compare side by side with something like the iPad.  Heck, it’ll probably even be on the same wall for some easy reference.

The advantage of having the Kindle available to customers through these stores is clear.  Not terribly impressive at this point, but clear.  This makes one more place for people wanting to test drive a Kindle to stop in at.  That’s all.  I suppose it might be convenient for some people, but other than that there are no real incentives for people shopping at AT&T.

Wow.  That was short.  Ok, guess we have room for more news!

Free Kindles in Our Future?

There’s been talk lately about the possibility of free Kindle devices coming to us as early as November of this year.  Now, take this with a grain of salt, but I wouldn’t entirely discount it.  The rumor stems from an examination of the price drops that the Kindle has experienced since it first came on the market.  Apparently they’ve been pretty steadily linear so far.  So much so that it looks as if we can predict precisely when the price will hit zero.  When this was mentioned to Jeff Bezos last year, he is reported to have said “Oh, you noticed that!” with a smile and left it at that.

Recent speculation has involved a couple different ways that such a free Kindle could manifest.  While some people think it could end up being incentive in some promotion (i.e. Buy 30 eBooks, get your Kindle Free!), I consider the most likely scenario to be the Amazon Prime option.  While there are already a number of benefits to being a Prime member including free 2-day shipping on everything and, more recently, free streaming movies, wouldn’t it be that much more tempting to holdout customers if they got a free Kindle in the deal?

This would go that one step further toward making the Kindle, and Amazon in general, the first stop for any consumer purchase.  I know, having had a Prime membership for a while now, that I’m willing to choose Amazon over other retailers for no other reason than the quick shipping on most things already.  If they beef up their movie selection, I can see it replacing my Netflix account too.

Now, I know that I’m not one to talk, having already expressed my own eReader preferences, but if they sent a Kindle to my house even back when I was fully in the Nook camp and I didn’t have to pay a thing for it, the convenience might well have been enough to win me over.  Maybe that’s what the plan is?  An insidious plot to gain our business by giving good value for the money would be novel, I suppose!

International Kindle 2 First Impressions

FedEx has just delivered my Kindle 2 International. On the exterior it looks exactly the same as Kindle 2 with US wireless. However there seem to be some changes in the software. First of all the device reports software version to be 2.2 (375490138). What is interesting is that this version can’t be found on Amazon Kindle source code web-page.

Kindle 2 International 2.2

Kindle 2 International 2.2

Poking around the settings and easter eggs I found that 411 and 611 pages look different.

I’ve also found a new hidden setting: if you type 311 while on the settings page you will be able to manually switch wireless networks just like on any other GSM phone.

Kindle 2 International Choosing GSM network

Kindle 2 International Choosing GSM network

Kindle 2 International seems to have several new screensaver images.

I can confirm that despite the change in software number the fonts are still not Unicode. Unicode font hack for US Kindle 2 doesn’t install on the international version. At first it wouldn’t even recognize the update. I’ve played around with Igor’s script and was able to tweak it to produce .BIN files that are recognized as updates by Kindle. However these updates still fail during the installation. Right now I’m trying to figure out why that is and how to fix it. If anyone would like to beat me to it – the updated version of Igor’s script can be downloaded here: kindle_update_tool. You’ll need to have Python installed in order to run it. To build update packages for Kindle 2.2 you need to use -k4 switch. Good luck! Let me know if you figure it out.

International Kindle FAQ

My post about international release of Kindle received more attention than any other post on this blog so far. A lot of readers are asking questions so I’m going to answer these in this FAQ to the best of my ability. Some of the answers are going to be guestimates since I haven’t received my World-ready version of Kindle 2 yet. I’ll keep adding and changing content here as I learn together with you.

What countries is Kindle available to?

As of October 6th, 2009 Amazon has revealed international version of Kindle 2 eBook reader that officially ships to 169 countries. However you should be aware that some features like wireless, experimental web-browser, blog subscriptions (including this one) are not available everywhere. Number of books that you can buy is also different for every country. Complete list of countries, book counts and other details can be found here.

Why isn’t Kindle available in my country? When it will become available?

Although I can’t know for sure since I don’t work for Amazon and never had, from my experience with eBook industry I can guess that it may be related to one of the following:

  • Amazon didn’t rally enough publishers in a particular country so book selection would have been too small.
  • Some provision of copyright law prevents Amazon from offering Kindle in a particular country.

I’m sure that there are no political/religious/etc reasons behind these limitations. Amazon is in the business of making money. And you can’t make money by turning down paying customers. That’s why I’m sure that they are making efforts to overcome these limitations and ship Kindle worldwide.

But I really want to buy a Kindle now. What should I do?

There is a way to buy Kindle when you are outside US. It has been known and used long before Kindle became internationally available. As of recently you will also need to use proxy server, VPN or similar solution to overcome geographical restrictions.

I have already used gift-cards to purchase Kindle and use it outside of the US. Can I re-register it to my “non-US” account now?

I absolutely see no reason why you can’t. You can de-register your Kindle from your “fake US” account, and then register it with your local account. The downside is that you will loose the ability to download books that you’ve purchased from your “fake US” account. So before de-registering you should download these books to your computer make a secure backup copy. It may be a good idea to use one of the secure online backup services. You can then copy these books to your re-registered Kindle and you should still be able to read them.

Why does the coverage map show that Whispernet will work in my country but I still can’t buy Kindle?

Wireless coverage merely indicates where Kindle wireless will work. This only depends on roaming agreements AT&T has with wireless operators around the globe. However more is needed for Amazon to sell Kindles in particular country as was stated above.

Kindle International Coverage Map

Kindle International Coverage Map

Where can I find Whilspernet coverage map?

You can view the large map by clicking on the small map image to the right. Or you can access the interactive map here.

Is international Kindle DX available for purchase?

Currently only international version of Kindle 2 was released. However there are some rumors and speculations that international Kindle DX will be released next year.

What network does international Kindle use for wireless connectivity?

International version of Kindle 2 uses AT&T 3G GSM network in the USA. Outside of US it uses 3G GSM wireless networks of AT&T roaming partners.

Can I use WiFi with Kindle?

No. Not directly at least. You can download books and magazines to your PC via. Amazon.com website using WiFi Internet connection and then transfer them to Kindle using USB connection.

Does international version of Kindle support non-Latin Unicode characters?

Although I can’t tell for sure until my international Kindle 2 arrives, there is nothing on Amazon website that indicates any changes compared to the US version of Kindle. You can still use Kindle Unicode Font Hack to expand the character range Kindle can display.

Is it possible to upgrade my US Kindle to international version? Will firmware update solve the problem?

No. GSM and CDMA networks require different hardware. This hardware is not easy to replace and doing so will surely void your Kindle warranty. Even if you were able to replace the hardware, you would still need to make lots of software changes to make it work. Nobody was able to do this as far as I know.

What is the story with international book download surcharge of $1.99? Who will pay it? Where? When?

International data roaming is expensive. When I visit Canada with my US iPhone, I’m offered a rate of $15.35 per megabyte for data roaming. Average book is at least 300 kilobytes. This would translate to around $5.00 additional cost per book. So Amazon’s surcharge of $1.99 actually looks like a bargain compared to that.

There seems to be a lot of confusion around who is going to be charged this amount and when. My understanding is that only customers with US shipping address would be charged extra $1.99 per book when travelling abroad. Customers from all other countries are never charged anything above the actual list price of the book no matter where they download it. However this is reflected in the book price which is $2.00 higher than for US customers.

Why Australian Kindle is sold without AC power adapter for charging when customers in all other countries get one?

No idea. My guess is that it has something to do with safety regulations in Australia.

Why blog subscription and experimental web-browser are turned off for my country?

Wireless data costs. You can easily use 1 megabyte of traffic just by viewing several Wikipedia pages. In fact homepage of this blog would amount to roughly one megabyte of data if you factor in all of the images. Since Amazon doesn’t own wireless networks it has to pay for all this data. It would be too expensive for them as profits from book sales would not cover it.

My guess is that Amazon was able to strike some kind of special deal with wireless operators in Hong Kong, Mexico and Japan to make this work.

Why do newspapers and magazines come without pictures outside of US?

Same reason – wireless data costs. Images would increase the amount of data that needs to be transferred causing Amazon to loose money on subscriptions. Hopefully in the future when international wireless data becomes cheaper this should no longer be an issue.

Other questions or corrections.

Let me know if there are other questions that you believe should be covered in this FAQ. If you believe that some data became outdated or inaccurate – drop me a comment and I’ll what I can do.

International release of Kindle 2!

Kindle International Coverage Map

Kindle International Coverage Map

Well, my speculations actually came true and even sooner and on a much larger scale than I have expected: Kindle 2 World version is available for pre-orders and will start shipping on Monday, October 19. Generally, International version of Kindle 2 is identical to the one that was released in February, except that it uses AT&T 3G network for book downloads and Internet connectivity in the US and roaming partner networks in more than 100 countries outside of the USA. I’ve glued together a full coverage map and a a table that lists different features and restrictions that apply to different countries.

Kindle is currently not available in the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Yes, unfortunately Kindle is not available in Canada yet but Amazon promises to fix this as soon as possible. They wouldn’t want to miss such lucrative market after all.

Residents of other 169 countries can buy the international version of Kindle here.

For each country features like whispernet and browser availability vary. In general the picture currently looks like this:

Country Wireless Duty included in checkout price Typical book price Browser and blogs Books under $5.99 Total books
Aland Islands No No $11.99 No 25,000 160,000
Albania Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
American Samoa No No $11.99 No 45,000 180,000
Andorra No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Angola No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Anguilla Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Antigua and Barbuda Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Armenia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Aruba Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Australia Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Austria Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Bahamas Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Barbados Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Belarus No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Belgium Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Belize No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Benin No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Bermuda Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Bhutan No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Bolivia Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Botswana No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Brazil Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Bulgaria Yes! No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 35,000 170,000
Burundi No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Cambodia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Cape Verde No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Cayman Islands Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Central African Republic No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Colombia Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Comoros No No $11.99 No 35,000 0
Congo No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Cook Islands No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Costa Rica No No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Cote d’Ivoire No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Croatia Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Cyprus No No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Czech Republic Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Denmark Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Dominica Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Dominican Republic Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Ecuador Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
El Salvador Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Equatorial Guinea No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Estonia No No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Ethiopia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Falkland Islands No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Faroe Islands No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Federated States of Micronesia No No $11.99 No 45,000 170,000
Fiji No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Finland No Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
France Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
French Guiana No No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
French Polynesia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Gabon Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Georgia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Germany Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Ghana No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Gibraltar No No $11.99 No 25,000 170,000
Greece Yes! No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Greenland No No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Grenada Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Guadeloupe No No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Guam Yes! No $11.99 No 130,000 290,000
Guatemala Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Guernsey No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Guinea-Bissau No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Guyana Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Haiti Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Holy See No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Honduras Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Hong Kong Yes! Yes! $11.99 Yes! 100,000 280,000
Hungary Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 65,000 280,000
Iceland Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
India Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 270,000
Ireland Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Italy Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Jamaica Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Japan Yes! Yes! $11.99 Yes! 100,000 280,000
Jersey No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Kenya Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Kiribati No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Lao People’s Democratic Republic No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Latvia No No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Lesotho No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Liberia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Liechtenstein Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Lithuania No No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Luxembourg Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Macao Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Macedonia Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Madagascar No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Malawi No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Malta No No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Marshall Islands No No $11.99 No 45,000 170,000
Martinique No No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Mauritius No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Mayotte No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Mexico Yes! Yes! $11.99 Yes! 100,000 290,000
Moldova No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Monaco No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Mongolia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Montenegro Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Montserrat Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Mozambique No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Myanmar No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Namibia No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Nauru No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Nepal No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Netherlands Antilles No No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Netherlands Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
New Caledonia No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Nicaragua Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Niue No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Norfolk Island No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Northern Mariana Islands No No $11.99 No 45,000 180,000
Norway Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Palau No No $11.99 No 45,000 170,000
Panama Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Papua New Guinea No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Paraguay Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Peru Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Philippines Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Poland Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Portugal Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Puerto Rico Yes! No $11.99 No 45,000 180,000
Reunion No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Romania Yes! No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Russia Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Rwanda No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Saint Kitts and Nevis Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Saint Lucia Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Samoa No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
San Marino No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Sao Tome and Principe No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Serbia Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Seychelles No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Slovakia Yes! No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Slovenia Yes! No $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 25,000 170,000
Solomon Islands No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
South Africa Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Spain Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Sri Lanka No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Suriname Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Swaziland No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Sweden Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Switzerland Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Taiwan Yes! Yes! $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Tanzania Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Timor-Leste No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Togo No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Tonga No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Trinidad and Tobago Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 290,000
Turks and Caicos Islands Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Tuvalu No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Uganda No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Ukraine Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
United Kingdom Yes! Yes! $11.99..$13.99 (incl. VAT) No 70,000 280,000
Uruguay Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Vanuatu No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Venezuela Yes! No $11.99 No 35,000 180,000
Viet Nam No No $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Virgin Islands, British Yes! No $11.99 No 100,000 280,000
Virgin Islands, U.S. Yes! No $11.99 No 45,000 180,000
Wallis and Futuna No No $11.99 No 35,000 170,000
Zambia No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000
Zimbabwe No No $11.99 No 35,000 160,000

Amazon Kindle 2So wireless is available in 100 countries, however browser and blog subscription only work in these 3:  Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico.

EU countries have slightly higher typical book price because it includes VAT.

If you read this page on Amazon.com there is little fine-print about international use of Kindle:

Kindle (U.S. & International Wireless) customers from the United States can travel internationally and still get books in less than 60 seconds. Customers have the option to wirelessly download books, periodicals and personal documents via Whispernet for a fee or transfer files from their computer for free.

  • International Book Service: Download books from your Kindle’s Archived Items or the Kindle store via Whispernet for $1.99 per book.
  • International Subscription Service: Receive all of your newspaper, magazine, and blog subscription content via Whispernet for a weekly fee of $4.99.
  • International Current Issue Service: Download individual issues of newspapers and magazines from your Kindle’s Archived Items or the Kindle store via Whispernet for $1.99 per issue.
  • International Personal Document Service: Transfer personal documents to your Kindle via Whispernet for $.99 per megabyte (rounded up to the next whole megabyte). For more information about transferring personal files to your Kindle, see the Transferring, Downloading, and Sending Files to Kindle Help page.

It took a lot of effort to put this table together so if you feel it’s a helpful and intereseting piece of information – spread the word and link to this post.

In the future I’ll post updates to the table above on a regular basis.

If you end up buying Kindle 2 from outside of US, please drop me a comment to share your experience.

iRex Gets Verizon As 3G Carrier

300px-Verizon_logo.svgiRex’s latest attempt to best the Kindle just got a little more legitimate.  While early specs on the latest iRex Reader promised 3G wireless capabilities, actual plans for a carrier were up in the air.  That’s all changed with the announcement that iRex will be the first eReader to use the Verizon network.

The reader has now managed to duplicate many of the important features the Kindle offers.  Not only can it download books wirelessly from anywhere with cell reception, but it also is connected to the Barnes & Noble store.  Of all of Amazon’s competitors, I have to say that Barnes & Noble seems to do the best at challenging the entire Kindle experience.  In the future, buying and reading books from either company should be fairly similar.  Amazon’s strength lies in early dominance, but B&N may be able to make up for this through brand recognition and their ubiquitous brick and mortar stores.  For people who are reluctant to switch to an eReader, being able to associate with a familiar, non-cyberspace chain is going to go a long way.

But one question I have is how much customers will need to pay for data transfer.  On the Kindle, Amazon pays Sprint for all the bandwidth their customers use.  As far as I can tell, this isn’t going to happen with the Barnes & Noble store.  Not only is their store compatible with eReaders from two different companies (iRex and Plastic Logic), but both companies use different wireless providers (Verizon and AT&T, respectively).  This seems to suggest that business surrounding the wireless faculty of the readers will be handled completely separate from the B&N store.  Does this mean that wireless costs will be different for either reader?  Or that customers will need to sign contracts for service agreements?  In general, cell phone companies aren’t very well liked by consumers.  If customers are made to sign up for a data plan when buying an eReader, I think they will be more likely to consider the Kindle instead.

E-book industry in one picture

If you are new to eBook industry and would like to catch up on all of the relationships between different Amazon Kindle and other different devices and companies in the e-Book universe. This picture created by techflash.com is just the right thing for you. There is also PDF version available that has every arrow linking a related story on techflash.com. You can download it by clicking on the picture below. It will really be worth your time.

eBook Universe by techflash.com

eBook Universe by techflash.com

I guess this picture really is worth a thousand words… Great work, TechFlash!

More Plastic Logic News

logo_plastic_logicPlastic Logic has revealed that their device will use AT&T’s 3G network to download  content.  This move places the Plastic Logic Reader in even more direct competition with the Kindle, which uses Sprint’s 3G network instead.

If the battle between Barnes & Noble’s store and Amazon’s comes down to the eReaders themselves, this is a significant step in Plastic Logic catching up.  They’ve even one up’ed Amazon by adding WiFi to the device (although WiFi might not be too far off for the Kindle).

The catch is that no details have been revealed as to what kind of pricing plan will be in place to use the network.  Unlike Whispernet, which is free excluding the upfront device costs, Plastic Logic could decide to go in a different direction.  Whispernet doesn’t cost anything because Amazon pays every time you download something.  If Plastic Logic didn’t want to make that kind of commitment, they could defer payments to the customer.

Either way, the plot has thickened with Barnes and Noble and Plastic Logic.  It seems like the best way to compete with Amazon is to find a way to copy their model.