The original Amazon Kindle has been around since 2007 and finally a version later it’s jumped the Atlantic and we can now buy the Amazon Kindle 2 in the UK and Europe after we suspected it was a possibility a few months ago – now it appears just in time for the most lucrative season in the year — Christmas!
It’s essentially the same as the version of the Kindle 2 that was released in the US earlier this year, and in fact it is named the “US and International Wireless” Kindle — but bizarrely despite the fact that it has now been released over here it is still only available to buy via the American site, only shipping is now available over the borders for the fee of roughly $4 (about £2.50, which is good by most measures).
Most of the features are exactly the same, although in the international version of the Kindle 2, it can access the Whispernet via 3G (which is how it will do so here in the UK) which fortunately will be free, and saves the time and effort of having to find Wi-Fi hotspots.
Unfortunately the downside to the fact that there isn’t a specific UK version is that there are a few irritating little problems due to the fact it is intrinsically an American product — it still ships with a US power adapter (so you will either need a converter or purely use the USB method of charging), all the prices for books etc will still be universally priced in US Dollars, and only American and some International newspapers and magazines will be available.
Also you don’t get access to the ‘blogs’ and ‘experimental browser’ features which may disappoint some (as will the fact that we still can’t get the newer Amazon Kindle DX over here) but on the whole most people will be glad to see that at least the market leader for e-book readers has come to join us in the UK.
I wonder if this way of selling the international version of the Amazon Kindle 2 has something to do with distribution rights and it’s easier to essentially keep it inherantly a US product which will also work overseas rather than negotiate distribution rights across a multitude of countries?
What do you think? Will you be heading over to Amazon.com to buy a Kindle 2 and finally get your hands on the top e-book reader out there?
UPDATE: If you’d prefer to get the larger Kindle DX, well you’ll be pleased to hear that you can now also buy the international version of the Amazon DX too!