Get this! Amazon.com new version of Kindle e-Reader is now the bestseller in the Christmas gifts category. This Kindle International version can wirelessly download books in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world. The new Amazon Kindle Reader has been shipping since 19th October 2009. It looks like Kindle 2, with a six-inch display, and it is capable of downloading books and periodicals via wireless networks belonging to AT&T and its international partners. The international Kindle is pretty similar to its U.S. counterpart in other respects, including its e-ink screen.
Amazon Kindle has millions of potential customers in countries all over the world who read English-language books. For years, Amazon has shipped English-language books from its U.S. store to customers in countries around the world. Now, Amazon will be able to offer that same service with digital books. International Kindle version will enable these customers to think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds. International Kindle customers will have access to about 220,000 book titles at its Kindle Store. The move will enable Amazon to tap demand for e-books in markets where other companies have taken the early lead. Many U.S. publishers said that Amazon in recent weeks has been eager to secure rights to international markets from publishers where possible. In recent years it has become more common for a publishing house to purchase world English rights on major books.
Publishers involved with the Kindle store now include Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Lonely Planet, Harlequin, Penguin, Bloomsbury, and Hachette, and many more. Amazon also announced that it would cut the price of its U.S. Kindle by $40 to $259, making it more in line with Sony’s Reader Pocket Edition which is selling for $199. With the announcements, Amazon is attempting to position itself for a boom in e-reader sales that Forrester Research expects in the U.S. over the next few years. In a report to be released Wednesday, Forrester Research raised its 2009 forecast for e-reader sales in the United States to 3 million units from its previous prediction of 2 million sales. Forrester Research also expects Amazon’s Kindle to command about 60 percent of the e-reader market in 2009, compared with 35 percent for Sony’s Reader.
This release of International Kindle is really Amazon’s effort to combat growing competition in the coming 2009 holiday shopping season. During this holiday season, e Readers will be one category that will be a break away success, as many experst are predicting. Lower prices, more content, more effective distribution, and lots of media exposure are contributing to faster-than-expected adoption of eReader devices in 2008 and this year.
Amazon has taken the lead in the U.S. market for e-book readers. Although it holds about 60 percent market share, Amazon’s competitors are beginning to challenge the Kindle on features and flexibility to work with different kinds of e-books. Sony boasts an e-reader that features a touch-screen interface and the ability to download and buy e-books from multiple sources in formats that can be read on multiple devices. Sony’s e-book store also includes access over 1 million free out-of-copyright books offered by Google. Amazon has not added a touchscreen to the Kindle because the technology detracts from its readability. As for the flexibility of using e-books bought from Amazon Kindle store on other devices, Amazon is continuing to roll out Kindle applications to read on other devices, just like the iPhone. Amazon would market the new international Kindle with a letter on the home page of Amazon’s shopping sites in countries around the world. It is not firmed whether Amazon would be announcing any other new versions or features for the Kindle before this holiday shopping season. It remains to be seen.
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