View Full Version : Rumor: Amazon Kindle to go worldwide with Vodafone?


Alexander Turcic
12-08-2007, 08:15 AM
Don't place your bets just yet, but we've received word from an unnamed tipster that Amazon is in talks with Vodafone Chief Arun Sarin to launch its Kindle reader outside the States. Vodafone is one of Europe's biggest network providers, offering network services to countries such as Germany, the UK, Italy, and Spain. But also countries outside Europe, such as Australia and New Zealand and anywhere else where Vodafone is operating could benefit from a Amazon-Vodafone partnership.

Okay folks, the moment you've all been waiting for might almost be upon us. E-books for the masses.

Related: Request for the Kindle to be released internationally (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16259)

JSWolf
12-08-2007, 12:36 PM
Shouldn't this go into the News section?

Hadrien
12-08-2007, 12:41 PM
Shouldn't this go into the News section?

It's more of a rumor than anything else for the moment. I've heard similar things about the Kindle in France, but not with Vodafone.

JSWolf
12-08-2007, 12:42 PM
But, anything on the front page worthy I would classify as news even if it is just a rumor at present.

mores
12-08-2007, 12:43 PM
now all we need is a "don't have a kindle? read this book on your PDA" button and bye bye paper!

:D

TadW
12-08-2007, 01:10 PM
If it's indeed Vodafone, this would be awesome cool.

Think about travelling. In future, when you pick a beach for your next summer vacation, only make sure that it's in a country with Vodafone connectivity :thumbsup:

BKeeper
12-08-2007, 06:32 PM
Actually, this makes sense.
Vodafone its the only operator who could provide "almost" global coverage in Europe, this would mean Amazon only has to negotiate and sign one deal.

To my knowledge no other operator is in this position in Europe.

(Not to mention that operator fragmentation would complicate manufacturing and distribution.)

So at the very least the rumor has some credibility. :)

I'm also thinking that in Europe Amazon could even have the final customer buy (or use) a SIM and pay for bandwidth.
Although that is unlikely, it could be the easiest way for them to expand.

If Amazon is really moving that fast, it would also mean that it has secured global distribution rights for kindle titles.

Good news indeed. :thumbsup:

arivero
12-08-2007, 06:58 PM
Has iRex got the exclusive rights for Europe? E-ink is a patented invention, and it can be subject to territorial licenses.

Nate the great
12-08-2007, 07:53 PM
What type of network does Vodafone use?

BKeeper
12-08-2007, 10:11 PM
What type of network does Vodafone use?

Vodafone uses a GSM/UMTS network.

GPRS it's slower but Considering the power requirements of UMTS and present limitations of e-ink it wouldn't make any sense to use it for the types of transfers that are gonna take place.

UMTS coverage it's also kinda limited to urban areas. (Not to mention the components for basic GPRS cost peanuts)

As I've mentioned above, if at some point Amazon it's gonna start charging for my network use anyway, I'd rather use my own SIM and "unlimited" data plan.

HarryT
12-09-2007, 05:34 AM
GPRS would work just fine for the size of files that eBooks involve. I use it all the time for web browsing from my SmartPhone.

HarryT
12-09-2007, 05:35 AM
Has iRex got the exclusive rights for Europe? E-ink is a patented invention, and it can be subject to territorial licenses.

Heavens no. Bookeen are in Europe too, don't forget.

tsgreer
12-09-2007, 02:07 PM
But what are all of the "I guess Amazon doesn't want my money because I don't live in the US" people gonna have to complain about now?!

KIDDING!! :)

mrsp
12-10-2007, 12:34 AM
But what are all of the "I guess Amazon doesn't want my money because I don't live in the US" people gonna have to complain about now?!

KIDDING!! :)

That would be funny except that where I live, vodafone has lousy network coverage. I think it would probably be ok in and around the CBD but get too far out of the city and its bye bye phone service...

PS: I live in Hobart and it takes about 3 hours to drive across the entire state - its not a big area.

Still, if Kindle came to Australia, even if they were on vodafone, I would still buy one (assuming that Amazon are smart enough to undercut Dymocks by, oh say, $300 bucks :D )

CommanderROR
12-10-2007, 05:35 AM
I don't think there will be any lack of things to complain about... ;)

The first thing would be that there are almost no titles available that are not English. I usually read english books anyway, even though I am German, but my girlfriend is very unhappy that I can't buy or even "steal" German ebooks for her anywhere... :D
Other things will come up, I guess pricing issues ($=€) with device and books (a 9.99$ ebook should cost something like 7€ at a €$ rate of 1.4 but will most likely cost 9.99€, just like in iTunes) and so on...so I guess there will be no lack of things to complain about, but most of us over here would be very happy anyway... :)

HarryT
12-10-2007, 10:20 AM
Other things will come up, I guess pricing issues ($=€) with device and books (a 9.99$ ebook should cost something like 7€ at a €$ rate of 1.4 but will most likely cost 9.99€, just like in iTunes)

We in the UK have it even worse, when they make $9.99 = £9.99 :).

Charbax
12-10-2007, 02:10 PM
Make it HSDPA, add WiFi, add a WACOM digital pen touchscreen (The same as iRex Iliad) and make it available subsidized for 1€ with a 6 month, 1 year or 2 year subscription contract. A 15€ per month subscription to be used on anything in the Kindle Store. The 15€ monthly plan should include up to 1.5GB monthly bandwidth to be used on free downloads from Gutenberg, an open RSS aggregator, Google Books, Google News, third party Audiobooks and ebooks providers and normal HSDPA website browsing.

Alisa
12-10-2007, 02:38 PM
That would be lovely. Can I have a free pony, too? I'm sure someday when the screens are cheaper, we'll see deals closer to that. I don't think that's going to happen for awhile.

Charbax
12-10-2007, 02:42 PM
Alisa, I think probably after Christmas, as long as Amazon can produce enough screens to satisfy a very large international demand, I am sure the Kindle will be available at $1 with a 24-month $19 subscription to the Kindle Store. Where those $19 have to be spent during the month and cannot be transferable to the next month. It's just like the way telecoms subsidize the mobile phones exactly in the same way.

If it's not going to be $1 Kindle from day one, then probably something like $99 upfront payment + 24-month $20 content subscription, or something like that.

Alisa
12-10-2007, 02:44 PM
Charbax,
The screens currently run over $150 a piece. LCD screens are WAY cheaper. It's not about supply. It's about component cost.

Nate the great
12-10-2007, 02:46 PM
Alisa, I think probably after Christmas, as long as Amazon can produce enough screens to satisfy a very large international demand, I am sure the Kindle will be available at $1 with a 24-month $19 subscription to the Kindle Store. Where those $19 have to be spent during the month and cannot be transferable to the next month. It's just like the way telecoms subsidize the mobile phones exactly in the same way.

For once, I will use this to be deliberately rude: :rofl:

Amazon is currently selling all they can at $399. They will very likely not be able to meet the international demand. Why would they cost themselves money by offering to subsidize it?

Alisa
12-10-2007, 03:00 PM
Does this mean I'm not getting my pony?

Nate the great
12-10-2007, 03:02 PM
Does this mean I'm not getting my pony?

I got you one, but he won't wake up: :deadhorse:

Alisa
12-10-2007, 03:06 PM
BWAH!

noface
12-15-2007, 11:22 PM
As Vodafone's network runs on GPRS and requires a SIM card this would mean a total redesign of the Kindle for the non-EV-DO network.
As there is a large American market currently available to Amazon (plus some smaller networks that run EVDO around the world) I would think they will concentrate on those markets in the short to mid term.
Plus it is unlikely that GSM networks would allow a SIM card that works only for the Kindle device as they could make more by charging only for the data and allowing any data connection through the SIM.

Alisa
12-16-2007, 12:59 AM
Changing out the wireless hardware doesn't require a total redesign. It's actually a pretty simple change.

noface
12-16-2007, 01:14 AM
For one there is the cost of GSM certification and network validity tests...
And, if you look at the EV-DO networks out there you will see that GSM converted handsets are few and far between, despite the user bases on EV-DO networks.
Yes - It is possible. I however, doubt that a DRM crippled device has the reach needed to make it worth Amazons while.
Therefore.... This rumour is but a rumour.
(opinion)
I would love to be proved wrong but this smells like the Vodafone/iPhone rumours that continue to circle.

Ervserver
12-16-2007, 02:13 AM
could be as simple as something plugging into the USB port


As Vodafone's network runs on GPRS and requires a SIM card this would mean a total redesign of the Kindle for the non-EV-DO network.
As there is a large American market currently available to Amazon (plus some smaller networks that run EVDO around the world) I would think they will concentrate on those markets in the short to mid term.
Plus it is unlikely that GSM networks would allow a SIM card that works only for the Kindle device as they could make more by charging only for the data and allowing any data connection through the SIM.

noface
12-16-2007, 10:58 PM
Sure that is possible... however all the USB modems available currently from Vodafone cost around half as much as the Kindle itself. You would then pay data on top.
Plus you would lose the form factor of the device with a big USB dongle hangingfrom the side...

TadW
12-17-2007, 01:00 PM
I found this reference on German ZDNet that indeed suggests that Amazon is in talks with Vodafone:

Amazon will Kindle über Vodafone anbieten

Mobilfunkunternehmen soll im Fall einer Kooperation am Umsatz beteiligt werden

Um sein E-Book-Lesegerät Kindle weltweit anbieten zu können, verhandelt Amazon derzeit mit Vodafone. Wie die Wirtschaftswoche berichtet, befänden sich die Gespräche jedoch in einem frühen Stadium.

Kindle kann rund 200 Bücher speichern, die über den Mobilfunk-Netzbetreiber Sprint aus einem kostenpflichtigen Sortiment von rund 90.000 Stück drahtlos auf das Gerät heruntergeladen werden. Der Download erfolgt über den Mobilfunkstandard EDVO.

Derzeit beschränkt sich der Dienst auf die USA. Vodafone, das weltweit in rund 60 Staaten aktiv ist, könnte nun außerhalb der USA für die Online-Verbindung des Lesegerätes mit dem Amazon-E-Book-Store sorgen. Sollte es zu einer Kooperation kommen, will Amazon Vodafone am Umsatz mit E-Books beteiligen.

Link: http://www.zdnet.de/news/hardware/0,39023109,39159590,00.htm

Pekka_K
02-14-2009, 01:07 PM
I don't think it is very necessary to have a wireless download option everywhere where this device is available. It is just unnecessarily limiting the availability of the device. Probably will not be available in Finland for instance. Even though we have one of the highest percentages of people reading anywhere in the world (about 65-70% compared to 40% in the US - according to Steve Jobs).

On the other hand I think that the publishers and device makers should take their que from the music sellers and abandon DRM. Amazon is still trying to play the old game of locking people to use your device and you as a book supplier. Amazon is of course big enough to just be able to do this but this is still a problem. There is no piracy ecosystem for books anyway - so why bother. It seems that the book sellers do not after all want the money from electronic sales.

krisk
02-14-2009, 01:19 PM
WOW! Way to bump a year old thread!