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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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November 2014
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Kindle International Coverage Update Before Launch

I’ve been keeping track of the number of books that is available to every country with the intent of publishing the delta like the previous one. However in the last couple of days updates were so many that it doesn’t make sense to highlight any country in particular. Pretty much every since one has gotten 10..80K extra books between the announcement of international Kindle release and the actual ship date which is today. The few countries that didn’t see any change were the ones who started with high book counts to begin with (more than 280,000).

After the release of international Kindle was announced, several people have complained that many interesting books were not available to their non-US Amazon accounts. Hopefully these changes should at least partially solve this problem.

If you have previously tried to buy a Kindle book and couldn’t because of geographical restrictions, you try it now and drop a comment here whether it worked on not.

Country Ship date Announce date Change
Aland Islands 240,000 160,000 80,000
Albania 250,000 170,000 80,000
American Samoa 260,000 180,000 80,000
Andorra 250,000 170,000 80,000
Angola 250,000 170,000 80,000
Anguilla 290,000 280,000 10,000
Antigua and Barbuda 290,000 290,000 -
Armenia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Aruba 300,000 290,000 10,000
Australia 280,000 280,000 -
Austria 290,000 280,000 10,000
Bahamas 290,000 290,000 -
Barbados 290,000 290,000 -
Belarus 250,000 170,000 80,000
Belgium 290,000 280,000 10,000
Belize 250,000 170,000 80,000
Benin 250,000 170,000 80,000
Bermuda 250,000 170,000 80,000
Bhutan 250,000 170,000 80,000
Bolivia 260,000 180,000 80,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina 250,000 170,000 80,000
Botswana 250,000 170,000 80,000
Brazil 300,000 290,000 10,000
Bulgaria 250,000 170,000 80,000
Burundi 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cambodia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cape Verde 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cayman Islands 290,000 290,000 -
Central African Republic 250,000 170,000 80,000
Colombia 300,000 290,000 10,000
Congo 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cook Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Costa Rica 300,000 290,000 10,000
Cote d’Ivoire 240,000 170,000 70,000
Croatia 290,000 280,000 10,000
Cyprus 290,000 280,000 10,000
Czech Republic 290,000 280,000 10,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo 250,000 170,000 80,000
Denmark 290,000 280,000 10,000
Dominica 250,000 170,000 80,000
Dominican Republic 300,000 290,000 10,000
Ecuador 260,000 180,000 80,000
El Salvador 260,000 180,000 80,000
Equatorial Guinea 250,000 170,000 80,000
Estonia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Ethiopia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Falkland Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Faroe Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Federated States of Micronesia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Fiji 240,000 160,000 80,000
Finland 290,000 280,000 10,000
France 290,000 280,000 10,000
French Guiana 260,000 180,000 80,000
French Polynesia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Gabon 250,000 170,000 80,000
Georgia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Germany 290,000 280,000 10,000
Ghana 240,000 160,000 80,000
Gibraltar 250,000 170,000 80,000
Greece 290,000 280,000 10,000
Greenland 260,000 180,000 80,000
Grenada 290,000 290,000 -
Guadeloupe 290,000 290,000 -
Guam 300,000 290,000 10,000
Guatemala 260,000 180,000 80,000
Guernsey 240,000 160,000 80,000
Guinea-Bissau 250,000 170,000 80,000
Guyana 300,000 290,000 10,000
Haiti 260,000 180,000 80,000
Holy See 250,000 170,000 80,000
Honduras 260,000 180,000 80,000
Hong Kong 290,000 280,000 10,000
Hungary 290,000 280,000 10,000
Iceland 290,000 280,000 10,000
India 280,000 270,000 10,000
Ireland 280,000 280,000 -
Italy 290,000 280,000 10,000
Jamaica 300,000 290,000 10,000
Japan 290,000 280,000 10,000
Jersey 240,000 160,000 80,000
Kenya 250,000 170,000 80,000
Kiribati 250,000 170,000 80,000
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 250,000 170,000 80,000
Latvia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Lesotho 250,000 170,000 80,000
Liberia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Liechtenstein 250,000 170,000 80,000
Lithuania 250,000 170,000 80,000
Luxembourg 290,000 280,000 10,000
Macao 250,000 170,000 80,000
Macedonia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Madagascar 250,000 170,000 80,000
Malawi 250,000 170,000 80,000
Malta 250,000 170,000 80,000
Marshall Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Martinique 300,000 290,000 10,000
Mauritius 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mayotte 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mexico 290,000 290,000 -
Moldova 250,000 170,000 80,000
Monaco 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mongolia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Montenegro 250,000 170,000 80,000
Montserrat 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mozambique 250,000 170,000 80,000
Myanmar 240,000 160,000 80,000
Namibia 240,000 160,000 80,000
Nauru 250,000 170,000 80,000
Nepal 250,000 170,000 80,000
Netherlands 290,000 290,000 -
Netherlands Antilles 300,000 280,000 20,000
New Caledonia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Nicaragua 260,000 180,000 80,000
Niue 250,000 170,000 80,000
Norfolk Island 240,000 170,000 70,000
Northern Mariana Islands 260,000 180,000 80,000
Norway 290,000 280,000 10,000
Palau 250,000 170,000 80,000
Panama 260,000 180,000 80,000
Papua New Guinea 250,000 170,000 80,000
Paraguay 260,000 180,000 80,000
Peru 300,000 290,000 10,000
Philippines 290,000 290,000 -
Poland 290,000 280,000 10,000
Portugal 290,000 280,000 10,000
Puerto Rico 260,000 180,000 80,000
Reunion 250,000 170,000 80,000
Romania 250,000 170,000 80,000
Russia 290,000 280,000 10,000
Rwanda 250,000 170,000 80,000
Saint Kitts and Nevis 250,000 170,000 80,000
Saint Lucia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 250,000 170,000 80,000
Samoa 250,000 170,000 80,000
San Marino 250,000 170,000 80,000
Sao Tome and Principe 250,000 170,000 80,000
Serbia 240,000 170,000 70,000
Seychelles 250,000 170,000 80,000
Slovakia 240,000 170,000 70,000
Slovenia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Solomon Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
South Africa 240,000 160,000 80,000
Spain 290,000 280,000 10,000
Sri Lanka 250,000 170,000 80,000
Suriname 260,000 180,000 80,000
Swaziland 250,000 170,000 80,000
Sweden 290,000 280,000 10,000
Switzerland 290,000 280,000 10,000
Taiwan 290,000 280,000 10,000
Tanzania 250,000 170,000 80,000
Timor-Leste 250,000 170,000 80,000
Togo 250,000 170,000 80,000
Tonga 250,000 170,000 80,000
Trinidad and Tobago 300,000 290,000 10,000
Turks and Caicos Islands 260,000 180,000 80,000
Tuvalu 250,000 170,000 80,000
Uganda 250,000 170,000 80,000
Ukraine 250,000 170,000 80,000
United Kingdom 280,000 280,000 -
Uruguay 260,000 180,000 80,000
Vanuatu 250,000 170,000 80,000
Venezuela 260,000 180,000 80,000
Viet Nam 290,000 280,000 10,000
Virgin Islands, British 290,000 280,000 10,000
Virgin Islands, U.S. 260,000 180,000 80,000
Wallis and Futuna 250,000 170,000 80,000
Zambia 240,000 160,000 80,000
Zimbabwe 240,000 160,000 80,000

….

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.

Amazon geographical restrictions for Kindle Books update

A small update on the issue of Amazon geographical restrictions for Kindle eBooks. Apparently some users are still getting the following message:

We are sorry…
We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Ultrasuft and HotSpot Shield, VPN and similar solutions seem to work. However they are not feasible for all users. I’m investigating the issue in depth.

Update: It’s all made clear with the international release of Kindle. Not all books are available to all countries. Geographical restrictions are here to stay. Though with time most books will be available to all countries IMHO.

Amazon may be blocking non-US customers from buying Kindle books

The method to trick Amazon into selling you a Kindle if you live outside of US was long known. There hundreds if not thousands non-US people using Amazon Kindle nowdays. However, recently, according to this thread on mobileread.com forums, please using this method started getting the following message when trying to buy a Kindle book:
We are sorry…
We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

We are sorry…

We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

There could be several things that are going on:

  • Software bug. Several users have reported Amazon.com website having some glitches recently.
  • Amazon did this unintentionally. It could be that they’ve rolled out a general system for geographically targeting or restricting certain products (not just Kindle books) and this message is one of the effects of this system. Perhaps it’s related to upcoming Kindle UK release… If that were the case, based on my own experience with software industry I would estimate that UK launch to be within weeks from now since it doesn’t make sense to make changes to production website that makes millions of dollars worth of sales per day long before you plan to release something. It can be Amazons major move for this holiday season and it would totally make sense. Though this is 100% my speculation.
  • Amazon specifically targeted Kindle books. Most likely this is because one of the non-US copyright holders found out that their intellectual property is sold in their country (ex: France) and they are not getting their rightful share of profits. Then they demanded action from Amazon and Amazon blocked Kindle books for non-US IP addresses. Let’s explore this possibility in detail…

The last scenario is yet another manifestation of how complex international copyright system is. Usually different publishers have rights to the same book in different countries. This worked well for paper book publishing since few people would like to purchase foreign edition of the book due because they would rather read it in their native language. It didn’t make sense to transport books internationally since they are heavy and it’s cheaper to print them close to where they will be sold. However when books went digital this legacy system started causing a lot of grief to publishers, book sellers and most of all to the customers. This was recently demonstrated by events surrounding Orwell’s 1984. Perhaps in the future publishing industry will adapt and embrace the global economy…

In this particular matter I doubt that Amazon would go do great pains to strictly enforce geographical restrictions on Kindle books. Mostly it’s because relatively few people used this loophole and amount of money involved is not significant. If Amazon were to press the issue, it would generate bad publicity just as Orwellioan deletion did. So they’ll only do what is needed to get the particular publisher happy. So I’m sure in time people will find a workaround for this problem.

One good way to try would be to have a separate browser that uses US pusroxy for all interactions with Amazon.com website from the day you create your new account. I’d recommend using real HTTP proxy that you configure in your browser rather than anonymizer websites that load destination websites in a frame as these are prone to bugs. The following proxy list would be a good place to start.

If you are affected by this issue or can add valuable information about the topic – please post a comment.

Update:

“Many thanks to Caroline Wong from the amazon forums for giving a hint to the solution. Amazon is now checking the IP address for those without a valid one-click payment option – generally those purchasing with gift certificates. You need to do a VPN to a US ip address – just do a google on “VPN to US” and download the software. Just run the software before any amazon session. Just bought 3 kindle books of amazon using gift certificates.”

So it looks like it is IP-related. Using public US proxy or VPN should solve the problem. I’ll look into the UltraSurf software and will post a review once I’ve tested it myself.

Amazon specifically doing the check for people without one click buying option would explain why most US residents travelling abroad like me will not be affected by this change.

Update 2:

I’ve just received the following email:

Hello.

I’m the guy who started the “Am I Screwed?” post on mobileread.com.

I update the thread. The problem is now over. People can buy books normally again, without needing to use a US IP. Amazon says it was a temporary glitch.

I myself (in Canada) just bought a book normally and successfully.

So it looks like this might be a side effect of upcoming international release or a simple bug.

Thanks to everyone who helped contribute information on the issue.