[LINK] Amazon hobbles UK Kindle

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Fri Oct 23 12:56:06 AEDT 2009

Amazon hobbles UK Kindle
22 Oct 2009 at 08:31
PC Pro

The Kindle International's 3G connection may be free, but it comes with 
some serious restrictions, PC Pro has discovered.

We've just received our review device, but upon trying to subscribe to 
various magazines and newspapers were greeted with the news that 
"Newspapers and magazines delivered outside the US will not include 
photos and other images."

This even applies to the UK-based newspapers Amazon has signed a deal 
with, including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail The and 

And that's not the Kindle International's only limitation. Amazon has 
also disabled its inbuilt web browser, returning the message that "Due 
to local restrictions, web browsing is not available for all countries", 
when you try to access it.

The restrictions are likely to anger early adopters who will have paid 
over £200 for the Kindle International, once shipping costs and tax are 
factored in.

And this is before they discover that they're paying a 40% premium on 
eBooks. In the US, bestsllers and new releases cost $9.99, equating to 
around £6.30 at the current exchange rate. In the UK the same books cost 
$13.99 or £8.44.

"International customers do pay a higher price for their books than US 
customers due to higher operating costs outside of the US," an Amazon 
spokesperson confessed to The Guardian. "Additionally, VAT rates in the 
EU are higher on ebooks than on print books."

We've contacted Amazon to discover why magazines and newspapers download 
without images, though it's most likely an attempt to cut down data 
charges. Amazon does not have a deal with a UK network to provide the 
Kindle's free mobile broadband connection. Instead it pays roaming 
charges through AT&T's Global Network.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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