updated 02:10 pm EDT, Thu August 5, 2010
Amazon Kindle gets UK-native store
Amazon on Thursday opened the UK Kindle Store, its first e-book shop outside of the US. The store gives access to a smaller 400,000-book library but scraps the extra fees that would come from downloading books outside of the US. Prices for popular books ranges from as little as £2.79 to as much as £11.25; most are under £10.
Books bought in the store work both on Kindle devices as well as in apps updated to recognize the second country. Amazon has previously planned to expand the Kindle Store to countries that already have a native Amazon store, but it hasn't said how close these might be.
For at least Americans, Amazon has also posted some of its first downloadable apps in the form of free games: Every Word and Shuffled Row provide the Kindle with puzzle games that work on the e-paper display. Both need a second- or third-generation Kindle to run.
The posting mirrors the difficulty that Amazon has had in promoting its Kindle app platform. Major developers such as EA have signed onboard, but few apps have surfaced beyond what's now preloaded on the Kindle. Software is considered a secondary goal for Amazon, but it has been eager to at once provide a small piece of the functionality of the iPad and claim an edge over more direct competitors like Barnes & Noble's Nook.