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Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Amazon's Kindle Launches Globally


Amazon.com today intreoduced Kindle, its wireless electronic reader, for over 100 countries, including China, priced at $279 and $259 for the International and U.S. markets, respectively.

Amazon said that the Kindle will be available for $259, down from $299.

The new kindle allows users to get books, newspapers and magazines delivered wirelessly in the U.S or in over 100 counreies, Amazon said.

Kindle utilizes the same 3G wireless technology as cell phones, menaing that users do not need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Unlike cell phones, there are no monthly wireless bills and no yearly contracts. There is no softwre to install and no syncing required.

The device is as tin as a magazine and weighs less than a paperback (10.2 ounces,) - but can hold 1,500 books. Its electronik-ink display looks and reads like paper without glare.

Amazon said over 200,000 English-language books from a host of publishers as well as more than 85 international and U.S. newspapers and magazines would be available on the international device, which begins shipping October 19.

Forrester Research estimate 3 million e-reader devices would be sold in the United States in 2009, up from an earlier estimate of 2 million. That could double in 2010, bringing cumulative sales to 10 million by end-2010.

The research group predicts that Amazon will take 60 percent market share in 2009, followed by Sony at 35 percent.

Amazon will also offer a a larger version of the kindle (9.7" diagonal) geared toward newspapers for $489.

Sony, which was first to market the reading device, is also offering an e-book device allowing users to read content on a paper-book sized tablet that downloads content digitally.

Sony's Reader -- whose newest $399 version is about to hit the market, with wireless and a touch screen -- is available in North America, Britain and a handful of European countries.



Technical Details

- Display: 6" diagonal E Ink electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
- Size (in inches): 8" x 5.3" x 0.36" (203.2mm x 134.6mm x 9.1mm).

- Weight: 10.2 ounces (289.2 grams).

- System Requirements: None, because it's wireless and doesn't require a computer.

- Storage: 2GB internal (approximately 1.4GB available for user content).

- Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low-coverage areas or in EDGE/GPRS-only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.

- Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via the included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.

- Connectivity: HSDPA modem (3G) with a fallback to EDGE/GPRS; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide wireless coverage via AT&T's 3G high-speed data network in the U.S. and partner networks outside of the U.S.

- USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle U.S. power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.

- Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.

- Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.

- Included Accessories: U.S. power adapter (supports 100V-240V), USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.

- Documentation: Quick Start Guide (included in box) [PDF]; Kindle User's Guide (pre-installed on device) [PDF]. Additional information in multiple languages available online.

- Warranty and Service: 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately.


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