Amazon Kindle cheaper; works internationally on GSM/HSDPA

Amazon has announced that the Kindle is coming down in price. The less expensive e-book reader will also have an international version, which can be shipped to other countries. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers work out the details.

By Richi Jennings. October 7, 2009.

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Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention a meta-episode of Simon's Cat...

John Biggs has a breathless quick report:

This just in: the Kindle 2 is falling ... to $259 and they will be selling an international version ... for $279 on October 19. ... Will be available for sale in 100 countries. No word on international content but presumably that’s a matter of rights management.

Over at his other site, our friend Seth Weintraub expands:

Amazon announced today that they were going to have an International version of the Kindle for sale for the holiday season.  Until now the Kindle has used Sprint's EVDO network. ... Unfortunately for current Kindle owners, Sprint's radio technology doesn't work overseas. Enter AT&T and its global standard HSDPA network.


Amazon is dropping the price of its Sprint Kindle significantly ... ($219 refurb) and is available immediately.  The AT&T International version will be $279 for pre-order and will ship later this month (October 19th-ish).

Harry McCracken recalls economics 101: ... knocked the price of its e-book reader down by $60 only last July, has cut it by another forty bucks. ... While that may not be a magic price point, it’s a lot more tempting than the $400 that the original Kindle cost when it debuted a couple of years ago. The big Kindle DX, with its 9.7-inch screen, remains a pricey $489.


More intriguingly, Amazon has added a $279 variant that uses a GSM radio to let you download content in a hundred countries around the world. (In the U.S., it’s powered by AT&T; other Kindles use Sprint’s network.) You pay a $1.99 surcharge to download books outside the U.S. (reasonable enough) and the same fee to download a single issue of a magazine (pricey!).

  Andrei Pushkin told ya so:

Well, my speculations actually came true and even sooner and on a much larger scale than I have expected. ... [It has] 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.


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.

  Zee M. Kane answers frequently-asked Euro-questions:

The Kindle will ship with a U.S. power adapter and a micro-USB cable for charging your Kindle via a computer USB port, so you’ll need to ensure you have an international adaptor to get it working for you. The Kindle currently has over 280,000 English-language books to choose from; plus U.S. and international newspapers and magazines.

Steven Levy isn't concerned about the $20 levy: [You're fired -Ed.]

This seems to push Sprint out of the long-term Kindle picture. Won’t everybody want to spend 20 bucks more on the AT&T version that that works all around the world, even if a cross-border trip isn’t on the immediate horizon? ... Indeed, having a Kindle that downloads from overseas means you can get your favorite newspapers and magazines delivered instantly, at the same cost you pay at home.
Not a word from Sprint honcho (and vanity TV pitchman) Dan Hesse. Other unhappy people may include owners of current Kindles who travel internationally. ... [Except] those who bought a Kindle in the last 30 days can exchange them for the international version.

But Brit blogger Nick Farrell blogs barbed bilge:

After a long wait, Amazon has finally released its Kindle ebook reader to people who can actually read. ... Europe still has a large number of people who read books and the Kindle was eagerly awaited.

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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