Amazon hobbles UK Kindle
By Stuart Turton
Posted on 22 Oct 2009 at 08:31
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 Independent.
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.
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Amazon should have taken the gun out of their pocket before pulling the trigger.
Taking it out and shooting the customer in the foot too, won't help.
By cheysuli on 22 Oct 2009
I hope it is just a glitch that they will fix soon. I specifically bought it so that I could get Newspapers delivered to me whilst on the move.
They should at least offer the ability to get images if using a broadband connection.
Otherwise I can see this being returned quite quickly.
By Macer71 on 22 Oct 2009
Fer Gawds sake, wot they playing at?
You couldn't make it up.
By mikepgood on 22 Oct 2009
well then they can keep it. I have a PS505 sony e reader and while it could be a better device I do not miss the 3G capability. Also Ebooks are not that cheap and there is not much choice around. I use it mainly for reading university material, pdf books and documents I have converted in PDf using a converter program...I would love to buy ebooks but often the SCIFI or fantasy titles I am looking for are not available or more expensive than a paper back
By aralerm on 22 Oct 2009
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