updated 01:00 pm EDT, Wed July 15, 2009
UK Kindle coming in 2009?
Amazon is almost ready to set a UK release date for the Kindle, claims Mobile. Manufacturing responsibilities for a UK Kindle are said to be going to Qualcomm, who is also allegedly responsible for finding a regional cellular carrier. One of the selling points of the American Kindle is free EVDO data, supplied by Sprint, which lets users download books and browse the web.
A UK device may be paired with an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator; talks with 3, Orange and Vodafone are said to have occurred approximately six months ago, but never made progress. Amazon is nevertheless claimed to be pushing for a Christmas 2009 launch, and working rapidly to secure deals with publishers. At least some book companies are believed to be onboard, while news and magazine publishers may still be in negotiations.
Amazon has acknowledged intentions to sell the Kindle internationally, but not yet announced any plans. Distribution is complicated by a number of factors, including not just carriers and book rights but factors like pricing and market timing. The Kindle is already alleged to have had a serious impact in the US however, reaching over 26 percent of traditional book sales as of May.