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Old 02-26-2009, 01:12 AM   #1
Kris777
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When will we see the Amazon Kindle ebook in Britain?

The article in guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology.../amazon-kindle

...
That's a lot more complicated than Amazon expected - after all, a single deal in the US covers more people than in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined - and the company is having trouble negotiating this patchwork of agreements.

In an interview with the Bookseller magazine last year, Amazon UK's managing director, Brian McBride, admitted the legal complications were holding back a Kindle launch in Britain.
...
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:50 AM   #2
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That's not strictly accurate - it would only be Whispernet that didn't work, not the Kindle - but Amazon doesn't want to sell you the gadget if it can't sell you books as well.
Can't you buy books by just going to the website????


I think that is a stupid reason not to bring it out in Europe. If an American goes to Europe, and sits on a beach in Spain, he won't be able to buy books by way of Whispernet either, won't he?

I think the reason is that they just can't handle the extra load (of sales) if they were to sell it world wide.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:46 AM   #3
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No, europeans (or anyone who isn't american for that matter) can't buy from their website as you have to have a credit card registered to a US address.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
Can't you buy books by just going to the website????


I think that is a stupid reason not to bring it out in Europe. If an American goes to Europe, and sits on a beach in Spain, he won't be able to buy books by way of Whispernet either, won't he?
There are two separate sets of issues:

1. Deals with telecoms operators for the provision of a GSM equivalent of "Whispernet".

2. Deals with eBook publishers for distribution of their books outside the US.

Many eBooks have country-specific distribution rights - that's why most eBook stores have geographical restrictions on selling certain books to you depending what country you live in.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:13 AM   #5
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No, europeans (or anyone who isn't american for that matter) can't buy from their website as you have to have a credit card registered to a US address.
Making the Kindle available to non-Americans implies making the books available. And that text implies you can only download those books by way of Whispernet.

About regional availability, I can understand. But that article doesn't even mention that. They only talk about Whispernet and the problems you would have if you would try to set something like that up in Europe.

Especially this part:

Quote:
"If you buy a Kindle in the UK and want to read it on the beach on holiday in Spain, unless we have signed deals in Spain it is not going to work on that beach."
What is the difference with this?

Quote:
"If you buy a Kindle in the US and want to read it on the beach on holiday in Spain, unless we have signed deals in Spain it is not going to work on that beach."
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
Making the Kindle available to non-Americans implies making the books available. And that text implies you can only download those books by way of Whispernet.
Perhaps the person who wrote the article is under the misapprehension that content can only be transferred to the Kindle "wirelessly". He certainly wouldn't be the first person to make that incorrect claim.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:40 AM   #7
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Whispernet is what really sets the Kindle apart from the other reader devices. (And what justifies the keyboard.) If they launch in Europe without wireless support, it has no differences from, say, the Sony Reader or Cybook.

Launching in Europe with only one country supported might cause legislative problems with the EU -- I don't know but the free trade across borders may be a stumbling block. And the cost of delivering across countries could be too high for Amazon to swallow.

Also, I seem to remember Apple ran into problems in France over the iPod and iTunes -- I can't remember what the outcome was, but there could be a related issue. (Though I guess since the Sony is launching/launched in France this is not really an issue today.)

Also, it sounds like Amazon are only just keeping up with the US demand for the kindle; opening a "second front" in Europe would probably cause supply problems which would annoy more people and loose goodwill.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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When an author - say even JK Rowling - sells a book they or their representatives negotiate different book publishing deals with a publisher in each country separately. Consequently current books have different provisions for their electronic sales in each country. This significantly hinders amazon's ability to do deals to host their books online and make available in other countries. The ability to buy via whispernet (or something similar) gives publishers a new tempting sales channel.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:30 AM   #9
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But I still don't see the problem why they won't sell to non-Americans. Granted, Whispernet doesn't work and maybe I won't be able to buy every single book on their site. But, as long as those things are clear, why still hinder everybody that doesn't actually live in the States? I mean, it's not that they won't put it up for sale at Amazon.co.uk and other European branchhes, you can't even buy it from the American site.

The only reason I can think of is what LazyScot also mentions, they can hardly handle the American market and won't be able to handle much more.

But don't blame it on the lack of Whispernet or regional availability of books. There are some books I can't buy at Fictionwise because of that, so there are software solutions to that problem.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LazyScot View Post
Whispernet is what really sets the Kindle apart from the other reader devices. (And what justifies the keyboard.) If they launch in Europe without wireless support, it has no differences from, say, the Sony Reader or Cybook.
I'm not sure I agree. Doing searches and adding annotations - both things that the Kindle can do - are significant uses of the keyboard which are independent of any comms provision.

Quote:
Launching in Europe with only one country supported might cause legislative problems with the EU
Again I don't think so. Apple rolled out their "iTunes" store on a country-by-country basis. The UK got it before any other European country, as I recall.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:26 AM   #11
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Whispernet is what really sets the Kindle apart from the other reader devices.
I agree with it. It is like Apple will offer iPod touch without wireless connection in Europe
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:07 AM   #12
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I agree with it. It is like Apple will offer iPod touch without wireless connection in Europe
Do you think that would matter? Perhaps I'm unusual in that regard, but I very rarely use the WiFi on my iPod Touch, and could live quite happily without it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:15 AM   #13
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I think it is pretty unlikely that Amazon will ever launch the Kindle in the UK or anywhere else in its current form. Perhaps a new model, the Kindle 3 with wifi instead of mobile phone capability
But of course nothing will happen until Amazon are sure that they have made it such that people can only buy ebooks from their UK store only, as this method has proven very successful for them in the US.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:19 AM   #14
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But of course nothing will happen until Amazon are sure that they have made it such that people can only buy ebooks from their UK store only, as this method has proven very successful for them in the US.
They already have that capability. There are many products which say "this item can be sold only within the UK" which the store will prevent you buying if you live elsewhere. They just use the billing address of your credit card.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:28 AM   #15
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They already have that capability. There are many products which say "this item can be sold only within the UK" which the store will prevent you buying if you live elsewhere. They just use the billing address of your credit card.
I thought the EU has some legislation about requiring that a product sold in one country could be bought and sent to any member EU country(*), something like a Free Trade/Free Borders deal. How does such legislation, if it exists, sit with "sold only in the UK"?

(*) I imagine there are some exclusions, probably to do with products breaking laws in the destination countries, but not it the source country.
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