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Old 10-10-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
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How long can Amazon keep up with the free 3G?

Amazon has been offering the free 3G for quite some time now. Since they seem to be selling a lot of devices I'm wondering how long this can go on.

What's there business strategy when offering free 3G? And for how long can they keep this up. At some point I'm guessing they will retract the offer. What will they provide as a business model in its place, how much will they charge for the 3G?
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:09 PM   #2
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I dont see it going away. not to mention that other manufacturers are also using att to connect their devices
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by thinkpadx View Post
Amazon has been offering the free 3G for quite some time now. Since they seem to be selling a lot of devices I'm wondering how long this can go on.

What's there business strategy when offering free 3G? And for how long can they keep this up. At some point I'm guessing they will retract the offer. What will they provide as a business model in its place, how much will they charge for the 3G?
I don't see why they decide to stop offering it. The typical price for "pay as you go" internet via 3G here in the UK is somewhere around £10 for 1GB of data transfer. The average eBook is about 300kb in size, which means that even if I was personally paying to send the book to the Kindle, it would cost around 0.3p (about half a US cent) to do so. That's an insignificant amount when compared to the price of a book, and I'm sure that Amazon negotiates enormously cheaper data rates than I can get.

I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority of Kindle 3G owners never use the 3G for anything other than buying books.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:24 PM   #4
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Which other e-reader offers free 3G? I thought it was only the Kindle devices that came with free 3G.

Amazon is a business out to make money, if they're keeping the free 3G they're doing it for a reason. The day they find it cost too much money they will stop offering it. The only question is if this is going to be in 1 year or several years from now.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority of Kindle 3G owners never use the 3G for anything other than buying books.
So this is something that can actually prolong the offer if Amazon sees that the traffic amounts are negligible.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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Which other e-reader offers free 3G? I thought it was only the Kindle devices that came with free 3G.
The Sony PRS-900/950 and B&N nook both have 3G to buy books from their respective bookstore.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:45 PM   #7
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@thinkpadx:
Also, the 3G is not "free" outside of the US.
In our beloved country you are charged an extra $2,- regardless whether you have 3G or Wi-Fi.
Just check the "free" books, they're $0,00 in US and $2,00 when your home address is set to Norway.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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The Sony PRS-900/950 and B&N nook both have 3G to buy books from their respective bookstore.
Can these devices be used for browsing or are you limited to the respective book store?
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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My impression with the new K3 was that the WebKit browser is quite capable and makes it a much more enjoyable and likely experience to browse the net. Am I mistaken in that assumption?
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #10
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its still a bit slow
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #11
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The country the Kindle is registered in affects whether you have the ability to access sites which aren't the Kindle store and Wikipedia. This also affects whether you get the $2 surcharge for delivery which Bikeridr mentioned above.

Assuming you don't have the surcharge, Amazon factors in the price of delivery into the purchase price of the book. If it is a free book or if you're redownloading something you've previously purchased then Amazon will eat the cost of delivery and not charge you.

The Kindle browsers all go through Amazon proxy servers when they're connected via 3G. Everything else is blocked. You can't stream video/audio currently and I'd be surprised if anybody really heavily uses the Kindle browser. The amount of data being transferred because of the free experimental browser isn't going to be huge. If you start really hammering it and going crazy with it then Amazon may notice and tell you to stop but you'd really have to overuse it for that to even possibly happen.

The Kindle terms & conditions do state that Amazon can withdraw the free 3G service in the future but thats more of a standard clause since they for example don't want to have to fund a 3G service just for Kindles for somebody who still has a working Kindle 3 50 years from now etc...

Last edited by Tiersten; 10-10-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:55 PM   #12
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Can these devices be used for browsing or are you limited to the respective book store?
Just for the bookstore.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #13
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The Kindle terms & conditions do state that Amazon can withdraw the free 3G service in the future but thats more of a standard clause since they for example don't want to have to fund a 3G service just for Kindles for somebody who still has a working Kindle 3 50 years from now etc...
They say that they have the right to withdraw web browsing. 3G buying of books is guaranteed to remain free (subject to the already-mentioned surcharges that apply in some countries).

Note that not everywhere outside the US pays a surcharge for downloading. We in the UK don't, for example. It seems to depend on whether or not Amazon have a deal with a local telecoms operator.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:11 PM   #14
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I am using 3G internet and have a limit of 5GB a month. When I reach the limit connection speed drops to 16kb/s which i very slow. It is not only modem speed but it can be also set by operator based on my SIM phone number or IMEI number.

I guess that if mobile browsing starts killing profits of amazon they will negotiate significant drop of speed that way people will just stop using browser. Speed of 16kb/s should be still quite ok for downloading books provided that they downloads in background while you can read anything else.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:32 PM   #15
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It isnt free in Australia either, as every book costs $2 more than in the USA store (and this has nothing to do with VAT, Currency exchanges, publisher costs, import duties, export duties or the kitchen sink! - before anyone chimes in with this explanation).
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