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Old 06-04-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
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Guardian: No Kindle for the UK (or anywhere else outside US)

According to a report in The Guardian newspaper, Amazon's UK operation has contradicted previous rumours of a Kindle launch in the UK this year.

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A spokesman for Amazon's UK division said today that the company had no plans to introduce the Kindle in this country, or anywhere outside the US.
The Guardian
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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Strange, I figured Amazon would be eager to release the Kindle there
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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Maybe they'll pull a Sony.

After all Sony didn't sell the Librie outside Japan. They sold the Sony Reader.

May be the GSM/HSDPA version of the Kindle will be called something else, to enable them to differentiate it from the US EVDO version.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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they could call it the Krumpel

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Originally Posted by bbusybookworm View Post
Maybe they'll pull a Sony.

After all Sony didn't sell the Librie outside Japan. They sold the Sony Reader.

May be the GSM/HSDPA version of the Kindle will be called something else, to enable them to differentiate it from the US EVDO version.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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"No plans" does not necessarily mean they never will. Perhaps it's just that it's beyond the plan horizon at the moment, and that they want to make sure it's not a flat earth before they proceed?

Cheers,
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:30 AM   #6
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The logistics of negotiating wireless access arrangements with all the countries in Europe, each of which has its own telecoms operator, would be a nightmare. I'm not surprised if Amazon have decided that it's not feasible.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The logistics of negotiating wireless access arrangements with all the countries in Europe, each of which has its own telecoms operator, would be a nightmare. I'm not surprised if Amazon have decided that it's not feasible.
Harry, I have to disagree a little here. While it would be a little difficult, it would by no means be infeasible.

Keep in mind that just a few major Telecom's such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), France Telecom (Orange) and Telefónica (O2) control or have access to most if not all countries in Europe. Indeed some like Vodafone have large presence all over the world.

If the Kindle model is a success, then I don't think the Telcos here are going to turn down another source of revenue, to help cover the cost of some of the 3G networks. And with the EC breathing down their necks to keep roaming and data charges reasonable, and in line with actual costs and not pure profit, think Amazon and any other company may be able to get a good deal.

Also, launching in europe, provides a good base to launch into other countries as most places have a GSM/UMTS network, allowing them to standardise on the hardware.

The bigger concern may be with getting publishing rights to the e-books, unless they already have an agreement in place for worldwide distribution.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bbusybookworm View Post
Also, launching in europe, provides a good base to launch into other countries as most places have a GSM/UMTS network, allowing them to standardise on the hardware.
I entirely agree that introducing a model with GSM rather than CDMA hardware would be a sensible move, but I'd imagine that would simply be a case of swapping one "module" of the electronics.

Quote:
The bigger concern may be with getting publishing rights to the e-books, unless they already have an agreement in place for worldwide distribution.
Remember, though, that Amazon own MobiPocket, and Mobi will happily sell you books regardless of what country you live in!
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I entirely agree that introducing a model with GSM rather than CDMA hardware would be a sensible move, but I'd imagine that would simply be a case of swapping one "module" of the electronics.



Remember, though, that Amazon own MobiPocket, and Mobi will happily sell you books regardless of what country you live in!
Indeed, as I mentioned in my first post, a version for outside the US would have to have a GSM/UMTS/HSDPA chip instead of the CDMA.

As to how difficult it would be to swap it out would probably depend upon how the module was designed. If it was a standard mini PCMCIA or similar design, it would be a piece of cake. The harder part would be to program it for using multiple different networks.

I have my suspicion however that Europe will probably not get the kindle before Version 2.0, as that would probably allow them to fix many of the problems of the current model. What i can wish is that they launch it at the same time or close to the US launch. (And Pigs will fly! :Grin3 )

And your right, i forgot about Mobi pocket for a minute.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:17 AM   #10
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Personal opinions:

1. It's commercially a bit daft to limit your customer-base like that, particularly when the general consensus is they could create a larger market with only a little extra effort, even if it was a non-WiFi device. There are enough people buying the iLiad Book edition to make it a viable prospect

2. Amazon could make themselves very unpopular in the UK & EU if they're seen to be showing 'favouritism' to the US

3. If they leave it too long, it's a greater risk that there will be more competition in the market or, even more likely, people will already have committed to another device and built up a relationship with another company. At that point they would have to produce something exceptional to 'win over' the target audience to further expenditure on a new device.

Just think it's a bit silly to be so dismissive of the rest of the e-book-reader-buying world, actually.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
1. It's commercially a bit daft to limit your customer-base like that,
Also with the Dollar down, and the slowdown of te US economy, you would think that the company would be seeking to diversify.

I only hope the dreader $=Euro=£ calculation does not occur. That could potentially sink the product. I can understand adding VAT, but the straightforward daylight robbery should stop.

Quote:
3. If they leave it too long, it's a greater risk that there will be more competition in the market or, even more likely, people will already have committed to another device and built up a relationship with another company.
Indeed, if they were to enter the market at the present time, even id they kept the $400 price tag, they could probably compete handily, and probaly dominate the market.

However with the rumour of the Sony Europe launch, and the Austek comimg along later in the year, I feel that the window is not going to be that long.

Now the only thing is, what if Bezos pulls a Jobs. And just announces that here it is, ready to go, with everything in place.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mindy View Post
3. If they leave it too long, it's a greater risk that there will be more competition in the market or, even more likely, people will already have committed to another device and built up a relationship with another company.
You are certainly right on this! Consider Orange who is going to start a trial of "Read & Go" next month. They will be using about 50 testers, who will have unlimited access for two-months. Read & Go is the first press reader to offer wi-fi as well as connection to the 3G network, with mobile content refreshed every hour from 6am to midnight. The service has a storage capacity of 1Gb - the equivalent of more than 200 newspapers - and contains an e-library of about 30 books including literature, strip cartoons, children's books and non-fiction publications.

If the trial is successful, Orange plans to launch the product on an international basis.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bbusybookworm View Post
However with the rumour of the Sony Europe launch, and the Austek comimg along later in the year, I feel that the window is not going to be that long.
It's perhaps worth noting, however, that Astek are going to be another "US only" seller. I don't believe that they have any plans to sell outside the US.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:46 AM   #14
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RobertB said Astak will have a distribution channel in place with Longshine in Europe, and they're setting up a website to sell the devices from, with shipping anywhere.
Course, will be interesting to see what actually happens next month....
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:47 AM   #15
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My guess is they'll have the second generation out by the time they have enough supply to sell outside of the USA. Hopefully they'll sell the "Campfire" worldwide and they don't wait for the "Inferno" or the "Charcoal".
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