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Old 09-10-2012, 09:16 PM   #1
scrapking
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Why does Amazon not do global hardware releases?

With each major Kindle announcement, there is always U.S. exclusive hardware. I can't figure out why Amazon doesn't release its hardware globally.

The Kindle Touch was released only in the U.S. at first. Most major markets did eventually get it the following year, though some markets didn't get the option of the 3G model (even ones, like Canada, that had received 3G models in the past).

The Kindle Fire only ever came out in the U.S.

The updated version of the original Kindle Fire is coming out in only six countries (the U.S., plus all the European countries that have their own Kindle e-book stores).

The Kindle Fire HD is coming to those same 6 countries, and this time they're all getting it at around the same time. That's progress, but 5 of those 6 countries are only getting the 7" model, with the 8.9" Fire remaining U.S. only (with no hint of an international release date).

The Kindle Paperwhite does not appear to be launching anywhere outside the U.S. initially.

Countries like Canada that do not have their own e-book store must use the U.S. store and, upon visiting said store, are typically encouraged by the website to order Kindle Fires and pre-order Kindle Paperwhites, only to be told if they try to order one that the Kindle in question "cannot be shipped to the selected address."

I understand that the Kindle Fire's services are a key part of the devices in Amazon's mind, but that didn't stop Apple from releasing the iPod in Canada without launching iTunes at the same time. iTunes came later in Canada, yet the iPod was still a huge success there. It's not like the Kindle Fire has no appeal without Amazon Prime, etc.; it's appeal is reduced, but not so low that no one would buy it. And the Paperwhite being U.S.-only isn't a services issue, it's as capable of utilising Amazon's services as the Kindles Amazon does consent to sell internationally.

Can the world's biggest e-commerce company be consistently planning so poorly that they're severely supply constrained on every device they launch? It seems improbable.

Amazon is putting a lot of effort to try to get the Kindle into the Japanese market, while not launching its existing devices in all the markets its currently serving. Am I missing something, or does this all make terribly little sense? The U.S. is undoubtedly a big market, but Amazon is a growth-hungry company and they will need international sales to stay on the trajectory they want to be on, yet (outside of failed efforts to break into the Japanese market) they seem to put very little emphasis on it. It absolutely boggles my mind that Amazon would allow Kobo to have international markets all to themselves when it comes to front-lit e-ink readers.

Last edited by scrapking; 09-10-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Bezos: "Fire is a service." "We want to make our money when people use our devices, not when they buy them."

When a good chunk of the device's value proposition is the content it links to, there isn't much point in sending it out to places where that content isn't available (because of geo-licensing issues.)

Note how the bulk of the "Nexus is infinitely better" remarks come from people with no use for or access to the Amazon content stock.

Apple is different in that they make the bulk of their profits from the hardware itself.
(The iPod shipped for a year without any kind of music store.)

Different strokes for different folks.

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Bezos: "Fire is a service." "We want to make our money when people use our devices, not when they buy them."

When a good chunk of the device's value proposition is the content it links to, there isn't much point in sending it out to places where that content isn't available (because of geo-licensing issues.)

Note how the bulk of the "Nexus is infinitely better" remarks come from people with no use for or access to the Amazon content stock.

Apple is different in that they make the bulk of their profits from the hardware itself.
(The iPod shipped for a year without any kind of music store.)

Different strokes for different folks.
All true, but I would add that presently the US is the largest tablet market there is, so there's a lot of incentive to cover that first. But I agree that the main reason is the availability of Amazon's ecosystem in its fullest.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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All true, but I would add that presently the US is the largest tablet market there is, so there's a lot of incentive to cover that first. But I agree that the main reason is the availability of Amazon's ecosystem in its fullest.
Fair enough, though Apple was fine with launching hardware first and following that up with services once they were ready.

Either way, that responds to only part of the question. Why is the Paperwhite being released in the U.S. only for now? Why was the Touch launched in the U.S. only for its launch year? Why is the only 3G Kindle available for sale by Amazon to some countries the (in tech terms) ancient Kindle Keyboard 3G?

Amazon fiddles while their international marketshare begins to burn (down to 23% in Canada, and dropping, for example).
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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Fair enough, though Apple was fine with launching hardware first and following that up with services once they were ready.
Apple makes billions off hardware but "merely" hundreds of millions off content.
If there is one company that can afford to sell ebooks below cost to drive off competitors its Apple.
That's not their way though.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:36 AM   #6
David Munch
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Amazon drives their income on content, not the hardware. And since their books are only limited to certain countries, well..
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:31 AM   #7
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Approval processes in different countries probably also has something to do with it. When looking at the launch I noticed that some of the features where already known, or at least speculated on, but others weren't. Hence, Amazon had been able to keep certain things in-house without leakage. If they were to launch globally a lot more information would be flowing around out there and it would probably be a futile effort trying to keep things secret. Apple doesn't launch their products globally, but they do launch it in more countries simultaneously than Amazon. Look at other major players like Samsung, Sony and HTC, they also launch gradually.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:45 AM   #8
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It is sad that kindle is not released in Singapore.
So I have to buy an unknown, brandless ereader instead.
Not sure if it works well.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by chongjasmine View Post
It is sad that kindle is not released in Singapore.
So I have to buy an unknown, brandless ereader instead.
Not sure if it works well.
You can always use www.shipito.com or www.usunlocked.com.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Here it is in a nutshell:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives...=Google+Reader

Quote:
Apple generates profit - up to hundreds of dollars per device, especially for the iPhone - every time it sells a gadget. Its media ecosystem is there to support the hardware. In other words, iTunes and the App Store exist in large part to sell more iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, and iPods.

As Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer described on a 2008 earnings call: "We’re thinking about the App Store in the same way that we think about the iTunes store. While it will generate some revenues, it will be a small profit generator, and just as with the iTunes store making iPods more attractive, we think the App Store will make the iPhone and iPod Touch more attractive to customers. We’ll hopefully see an indirect return by selling more iPhones and iPod Touches."
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chongjasmine View Post
It is sad that kindle is not released in Singapore.
So I have to buy an unknown, brandless ereader instead.
Not sure if it works well.
You could get a Kobo instead, it's the #1 brand in Canada and is sold internationally. They are launching 3 new models, the Glo, the Mini, and the Arc tablet.
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=190125
No need to get a "no-name" brand...
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