The buzz around the launch of the Kindle internationally goes over like a lead balloon as steeper prices and a snub to Canada spark negative reactions. Kirk Laughlin reports.
Canadians will have to wait in line behind nations like Burma in order to get their hands on a new Kindle, the popular electronic reader which has been sold to over 1.7 million customers in the US since launching in 2007.
Amazon announced plans to sell internationally this week, selling to over 100 nations worldwide. But, Canada – home to famous geese and world-class hockey – is getting left out in the cold apparently because several of the top carriers are vying for the business relationship.
Canadian Visitors to Amazon’s website this week were met with this statement: “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.”
Up until recently, the country’s biggest carriers, Bell and Telus were on a CDMA-only roadmap. Both of them however have revealed plans to deploy HSPA, positioning them both to support LTE by 2011.
(As part of the transition both carriers also announced that they will begin selling the i-Phone.)
Roger Wireless has been the only GSM-based provider in the country, which would have enabled them to become the sole partner of Amazon. The new migration plans announced by Bell and Telus now make them viable rivals for the business.
Meanwhile, a few reporters starting asking Amazon this week exactly how much non-US customers would pay to download books on the popular electronic reader which is scheduled to be available worldwide on October 19. Despite earlier company statements that foreign customers would pay the same for downloads as US customers, the truth appears to be quite different.
Most likely because of hefty roaming fees, Amazon will charge as much as a 40% premium to download titles compared to US customers. The online retailer is relying a deal it struck with AT&T, enabling AT&T to use existing roaming agreements and alliances to permit the reader to be sold in each one of the domestic markets.
Amazon currently sells three Kindle versions of the device – the original Kindle, the improved Kindle 2, and the larger Kindle DX. The latter two are available only in the US. The product relies on 3G networks to enable readers to download books, newspapers and magazines.
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