Amazon Kindle will ship to Australia from October 19

Amazon Kindle will ship to Australia from October 19

Amazon Kindle International(Last updated: 14/10/2009) Just in from Twitter: Amazon will now ship the Kindle internationally. According to Bookseller+Publisher:

Kindles are available to order for US$279 (A$313) from the Amazon website now and will begin shipping from 19 October. Amazon’s director of merchandising Laura Porco is scheduled to run a demonstration of the device in Sydney on Monday 26 October. An Amazon spokesperson told WBN that it had ‘not been confirmed as yet whether [books from] Australian publishers will be available’ to read on the device.

CNET Australia provides some technical details:

The reader can either download books via USB or by 3G or 2G wireless, without any mobile contracts … but the spokesperson could not give any information on which carrier had been selected.

A spokesperson for VHA said it hadn’t signed a deal with the bookseller. Telstra has yet to respond to queries. Optus said it “had nothing to confirm”. On the site, however, it is possible to check wireless coverage that the device will access, which seems to be quite extensive.

The device weighs around a third of a kilo and is 203.2mm by 134.6mm by 9.1mm. It has 2GB internal storage, with around 1.4GB available for user content, which Amazon says will store up to 1500 books. With one charge, the reader will operate for up to four days.

What’s that loud thump? you ask. That would be the Amazon monopoly crashing into our shores.

Personally, I’m cheap and the price point isn’t low enough for me to buy the Kindle. I’m also not a fan of Amazon’s heavily discounted and loss-leading pricing strategies. But I know a lot of readers who will be excited by this news, and I have to admit that it’s tempting to own a Kindle and be one of the cool ebook reading people.

In any case, I hope the Kindle gives a much-needed boost to Australia’s dismal ebook market by forcing the other products/retailers to increase their marketing efforts, and by encouraging publishers to release locally published books in a digital format.

The Bookseller+Publisher article quotes Don Grover, CEO of Dymocks, on some possible implications on the local ebook market. Basically, Grover thinks the ebook market won’t grow unless Australians have access to good content.

I’ll be interested to see if Amazon makes inroads into our local ebook market where Dymocks has not. (Because I think Dymocks’s strategy was flawed and didn’t really understand its target market.) It’ll also be interesting to see if the other ebook readers used by Australians—Sony eReader, Hanlin/BeBook, Cybook, Iliad—will be muscled out by Amazon, or if they’ll benefit from the overall increased awareness of ebooks.

This is a very interesting development in Australia’s book market, given that the parallel import restrictions are still under review. I don’t have any insider knowledge about anything, so I’m going to use this post to link to articles covering the Kindle’s international release. Watch this space!

Click here to pre-order the Kindle from Amazon. The product ships on October 19.

Links round-up

I’ll add links as I find them, and the newest will be at the bottom of the list. (Thanks to @OzAlleyCat for the help!)

10 comments

  1. Edie says:

    It depends on the geo restrictions to an extent whether it would be a success or not, to an extent I would think? If every second book you go to buy isn’t available to your country, the glow might not last long.  The AUS publishers don’t seem to have picked up that many ebook rights.. Or I could not be looking in the right places..
    I am quite desperate for one, but don’t like kindles, due to being locked into their format, their shop and not actually owning the book..
    And that was just a little sideways rant.. sorry

  2. Kat says:

    I agree. My  hope is that Kindle’s market power will encourage/entice publishers to make more ebooks available to us. That said, I’m not sure how much of geo restrictions is about publishers not wanting to publish in digital format. I suspect it’s to do with authors withholding rights, plus publishers not having the rights, and then a kind of muddle to determine who exactly has the rights.

    Am hoping Bookseller+Publisher will have the facts soon, although maybe we’ll have to wait until the Kindle ships and people start to rave/rant.

  3. Charlie says:

    I’ve always assumed that the parallel importation rules applied to ebooks. I’d be amazed if they didn’t. Going to research it properly this weekend.

  4. Kat says:

    Charlie, even if they did, I can’t see how it applies to consumers buying ebooks. Under PIR, those purchases would be covered under the provision that allows customers to special order foreign copies. My understanding is that PIR applies to wholesale book purchases by booksellers.

    I’m not entirely sure, though, if ebooks are treated the same by the law as print books. Maybe the fact that they’re digital means they’re subject to some other type of copyright law—I’m not sure.

    And what about New Zealand? They have an open book market, yet they’re not on the international Kindle list. It’s all very confusing, so I look forward to any clarification you can provide.

  5. Edie says:

    On the not in NZ @mcvane and @NadiaLee on twitter brought up an interesting point, maybe NZ and that are missing out on the Kindle due to not having an ATT affiliate – or the roaming not feasible..
    They worded it better lol

  6. Kat says:

    I also thought it might be the telco partnership, but in that case why not sell the Kindle and allow users to download via USB? Unless for some reason Amazon doesn’t want to ship Kindles where wireless is not an option? Canada is also not on the list, apparently.

  7. Kat says:

    Charlie, the map might have NZ covered, but when you go to the purchase page and select NZ, it says Amazon can’t ship or offer Kindle content for NZ.

  8. Rob says:

    The Kindle is a very nice device, but there are a view minors to consider. 1st it only allows you to buy books from Amazon, and with the current import rights, virtually no Australian books are available or likely to be available via Amazon soon.
    2nd. You can not put your own documents on the Kindle
    3rd. It is not serviced or backed up by an Australian Distributor.
    Another option to the Kindle are devices that are open to read any documents from any ebookseller. The BeBook for example reads all documents (including Amazon books) and your own documents. BeBook will have a wifi/3G touchscreen model soon, but in the mean time there 6″ or 5″ models are perfect for book readers.
    Have a look at the website http://www.bebook.net.au
     
     

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