Kindle eBook reader to launch in Australia

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Kindle eBook reader to launch in Australia

Shipping October 19.

Amazon is launching a third-generation Kindle e-book reader that will be available outside the U.S. for the first time since its U.S. launch in November 2007.

From October 19, the 'U.S. and International Wireless' Kindle will be shipped to more than 100 countries, including Australia.

"We launched as soon as we were able to provide a great customer experience around the world," Amazon spokesperson Cinthia Portugal told CRN.

"It's seamless to our customers - no annual contract, no monthly fees, no hunting for a hotspot."

With a capacity of 2GB, the Kindle is expected to store up to 1500 books. It weighs 289.2 grams, features a six-inch electronic paper display, and can run for up to four days without charging.

The device operates on Amazon's wireless delivery system, Whispernet, through which new books and magazines are bought and delivered. Whispernet is powered by 3G GSM technology over the AT&T Global Network.

Amazon has not disclosed the specifics of the network in Australia; however, its coverage map indicates 3G coverage in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth only, and EDGE/GPRS coverage elsewhere.

There will be no monthly fees or subscription required to use the Kindle, besides the cost of books and the device.

More than 280,000 English-language books are currently available from the Kindle Store, along with more than 85 U.S. and international newspapers and magazines.

There are no Australian newspapers available on the Kindle currently; however, Portugal said Amazon is working hard to add content.

And while the U.S. version of the Kindle allows users to access blogs and the Web pages via an experimental Web browser, these functions are unavailable in Australia currently.

Australian users can also upload personal documents to their devices via USB for free, or via  Whispernet for US$0.99 per megabyte.

Transferring personal documents via Whispernet in the U.S. costs US$0.15 per megabyte.

The device costs US$279 plus taxes, and can be ordered direct via Amazon's Web site.


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