Flash! Amazon Kindle for sale internationally!

This is HUGE news!

In a press release dated October 7, 2009, Amazon says:

Now for the first time, Kindle is available to customers around the world.

It will start shipping October 19, and have wireless (not wi fi…it will have something like the current Kindle Whispernet access), apparently in more than 100 countries!

Here’s the product page for the new device: Kindle International .

Key points:

This is a new model of the Kindle.  It appears that your Kindle 2, KDX and K1 will not have this capability.

The Kindle 2 drops in price to to $259.  For $20 more, you get the international model.

They’ve added a bunch of international periodicals.

It appears that they will be shopping from the current Kindle store.

Here’s a big point:

When traveling abroad, you can download books wirelessly from the Kindle Store or your Archived Items for a fee of $1.99

Connectivity: HSDPA modem (3G) with a fallback to EDGE/GPRS; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide wireless coverage via AT&T’s 3G high-speed data network in the U.S. and partner networks outside of the U.S.

As has always been the case, the Kindle has a universal voltage power supply.  However, you will often need to buy a plug adapter for your country.

“In low-coverage areas or in EDGE/GPRS-only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.”

“For U.S. customers traveling abroad, a $1.99 fee currently applies when downloading books or single issues of periodicals wirelessly from your Archived Items or the Kindle store while roaming internationally.”

There will be no international charge when buying using your computer and transferring to your Kindle via USB.

Nothing I’m seeing is indicating additional voices for the Kindle (to support the other languages).

“Content availability and pricing vary for customers living outside of the U.S.”

Optional extended warranty only available in the US.

You may have considerable additional import fees and such…not charged by Amazon, I think, but by your country.

The Kindle 2 price has dropped!  If you bought one in the last thirty days, call Amazon Customer Service for a refund: 1-866-321-8851 (inside the US).

This Wired story has some important points from a phone interview with Jeff Bezos: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/10/international-kindle/

If you bought a Kindle 2 in the last thirty days, you can exchange it…hop on it!  I assume you’ll pay the difference…don’t have details on this yet.

Unfortunately, blogs will not be sold outside the US at this point, although US customers can get them.

Kindle foreign dictionaries have started to appear!  Tested by Kindle forum members and reported as working.  French, Spanish.  Thanks for the heads-up, Li Po!  Hopefully, more to follow.

International Service Fees for US Customers (detailed by Amazon here: $1.99 per book wirelessly from the Kindle store or from your Archives (wirelessly only…computer download is free); all of your subscriptions (magazines, newspapers, blogs) for $4.99 a week; $1.99 for an individual issue of a subscription; ninety-nine cents per megabyte (rounded up) for wireless transfer of personal documents. Note that doing all this by computer is free…these are wireless fees, not document fees.

Samples are now available by computer download!

Books can now be purchased directly to the archives, rather than choosing a Kindle for download first!

The first link I tried for the new User’s Guide didn’t work, but this one did: https://kindle.s3.amazonaws.com/Kindle%20User%E2%80%99s%20Guide%2C%202nd%20Ed.-%20English.pdf 

When you go to the Kindle store, your current country is displayed…this is new.  If you click for more information, you see this:

Due to copyright restrictions, certain Kindle Titles are not available everywhere. Kindle Titles that are available in your country or region will be displayed.

If the country or region displayed is incorrect, you may change it at www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle.

Coverage map  now showing the international coverage, both the 3G and the more battery intensive EDGE/GPRS.  Note that having wireless is not the same as saying the Kindle can be shipped there. 

“Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in Canada. We are working to make Kindle available to our Canadian customers as soon as possible”

My own suspicion:  I think the excluded countries may have to do with their copyright law and the treaties they have signed.  Excluded countries include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Afganistan, China…I believe they all have shorter copyright terms, or at least there are concerns about their copyright situations, than the US.  It’s harder to check this than I thought, because it isn’t just copyright length.  I thought it might be signatories to some of the famous copyright agreements (I thought it might be UCC Paris or WIPO), but I think some of the approved countries may not be signatories.  It may be more than one factor, but this is my intuition at this point.  Okay, looking at this, I think it may be that you be at least Life+70 and to have signed UCC Paris and WCT.

Country List:

Please note: I have gone through the countries at Amazon checking for availability.  This is not official: I could make transcription mistakes, and they could change things.  Please check the Kindle International product page for official information.  I’ve only gone through A-C so far.  🙂

Newly available (wireless and device can be shipped):

Antigua and Barbuda
Cayman Islands
Czech Republic

Wireless not available, but device can be shipped there (shop by computer, transfer by USB):

Aland Islands
American Samoa
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire

“Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in…”

Antartica (poor Sheldon)
Bouvet Island
Burkina Faso
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei Darussalam
Christmas Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands

NOTE: Andrys of A Kindle World already has a fuller country list, so I’ll just direct you there.  🙂  http://andrys.com/kindlecountries.html  Andrys has a great blog, by the way.  🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

13 Responses to “Flash! Amazon Kindle for sale internationally!”

  1. B.D. Matt Says:

    I am not as enthusiastic about the International edition as Jeff Bezos is. The Wired article hyped the international Kindle as just being $20 extra. That is true for the hardware. But for U.S. customers, it imposes a $1.99 surcharge for wirelessly downloading books.

    As a new Kindle customer, one of the reasons that I chose Amazon’s product is the seamless integration of of the e-book reader and the clicks and mortar bookstore selling $9.99 bestsellers. The AT&T service charge increase the purchase price in all actuality by 20%. Moreover, I appreciate downloading samples, which I certainly won’t do for $1.99 a pop.

    Say what you want, but I would rather take the much maligned Sprint Whispernet any day over the aforementioned scenario, even if I was regularly traveling abroad.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      I appreciate you writing, B.D.

      Well, I see it a bit differently, but that’s okay. Amazon has not added a new charge to an existing service. You can download just like you always have in the US. You can still buy books when you are abroad for free by using your computer and then transferring via USB to your Kindle’s documents folder.

      The two new things that relate to your post:

      1. You can now get books wirelessly when abroad, which wasn’t possible before. New capability and new fee. Do things the way you have been, and no change

      2. You can now get samples non-wirelessly, which you couldn’t do before. No charge if you do it that way. That’s been one of the most common concerns I’ve seen expressed for Americans living or traveling abroad, and for those in the US without Whispernet connection. I love getting the samples, and I’m glad those folks can now share that pleasure 🙂

      I agree with you, I probably won’t typically get books wirelessly when out of the US, because the $1.99 fee is high. However, we couldn’t do that before anyway, and I’m sure there are some folks who will choose to do it in some circumstances.

  2. Anie Says:

    the $1.99 is for when we are abroad, away from this piece of land, and downloading books from another country. We’d in effect be paying the same as the UK people who pay $11.99 a book where we pay $9.99 and we wouldn’t have to pay custom fees or the other ones listed for the European countries. Our U.S.-centric radio modem would know we’re away from home and we’d be charged ‘roaming’ costs as it does cost Amazon more.

    The whispernet in the U.S. will be the same, from everything I’ve read.
    We’d continue on (at least until we hear of any changes) the way we have been. Samples would still be free if we’re in the U.S. getting them.

    When abroad, to avoid these charges we would just send for the book but download it by computer and USB-it over to the Kindle. No whispernet use, no $1.99 for the book.

  3. Anie Says:

    Bufo, I love your substantial and varied blog !

    And obvioiusly so do many others!

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Anie!

      I’m glad you like the variety…I like that, too. 🙂

      I don’t know how many subscribers I have yet (won’t find find that out until October 15th, I think), although it is exciting to be in the top one percent at Amazon. 🙂 I get reports on visitors to the website, but I don’t know how accurate they are. There was a big jump today, though…with at least a couple of billion more people getting access to Kindles soon, that may not be a surprise. 🙂

      Thanks for answering B.D.! I wrote my reply before I saw your comment…nice explanation.

  4. B.D. Matt Says:

    Rereading the material available about the Kindle International, I now appreciate that the $1.99 fee wireless download fee is meant for US customers getting downloads abroad. So that may not be that big of a deal.

    But there is not the experimental browser on Kindle International. The built in internet access via the experimental browser on K1, K2 and K DX was a big selling point for me. It may be a clunky browser, but I have situations when it is useful, even vital.

    What irked me about the Wired article was the assumption that AT&T doing the Whispernet was on the ascendancy and Sprint’s Whispernet was doomed. I hope that is not the case as Wikipedia and the experimental browser really enhance the Kindle. Otherwise, the Whispernet is just as governed as the upcoming Ibex effort and the Sony Daily Edition.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      I am dogged about using some things on the Kindle other people don’t use. 🙂 I do use the Whispernet access to the internet…not a lot, but I have sent e-mail, checked Fandango, read news…and probably the biggest thing, checked flight status. When I’m picking up somebody, it’s nice to be at breakfast, and right there at the restaurant be able to see if the flight is delayed.

      Sony isn’t going to have that: just access to the Sony store. I think that will affect some people’s decision. Although it isn’t the show ring of the device, you still care about what’s happening in the side show. 😉

      I’m not sure that the hypothetical loss of Sprint in the future would mean the loss of general web-slogging (which is how I describe the experience) on the Kindle, but I would miss it.

    • Anie Says:

      The browser and blogs-retrieval are both not disabled in Japan, Hong Kong, and Mexico, as it turns out.

      I heard a rumor that they plan to enable it in other places once the circumstances are right.

  5. B.D. Matt Says:

    Snaps on the web slogging description. It is apt when using the Kindle as an internet browser. But lots of folks that I evangelize on e-book readers really like that feature, kludgy as it is.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks, B.D.! Glad you liked it. 🙂

      I do like having the web browser and use it. I think one of my favorite things was finding a picture to show somebody from http://www.imdb.com…while in the car. Oh, sure, it took a minute, but it was worth it, just being able to do it. 🙂

  6. Flash! Amazon Kindle for sale internationally! « I Love My Kindle | bouvet islands Says:

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  7. Esteban Turberville Says:

    Really Good Articles/posts that you have on this site. Thanks

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks, Esteban!

      I’m glad you are enjoying them, and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. 🙂

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