Amazon plans to start selling its Kindle reader in over 100 countries and territories on 19 October. The Kindle offers a way to read e-books and other digital media via an electronic tablet.
Amazon is selling the Kindle with US & International Wireless to customers in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America, for $279 for a reader with a 6-inch display and the ability to wirelessly download books and other content globally, the company said on Wednesday.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said for now the Kindle will be sold via the Amazon US website and shipping to the UK for $279, around £175, with import duties that price will rise up to around £200.
A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs told The Times: “Anything imported from outside the EU with a value of over £150 is technically liable to both import duty and VAT. Normally, import duty of under £7 is waived, but this would still be liable for VAT.” That amounts to an extra £26.25, at the current 15 per cent rate, which rises to 17.5 per cent on January 2010.
Amazon has plans to sell the reader directly from Amazon.co.uk, but haven't yet specified when.
Orders can be taken via Amazon.com. The company points out you will not need to set up a second Amazon US account, but use your existing Amazon.co.uk account to buy the Kindle.
"In the future, we plan to introduce a UK-centric Kindle experience, enabling you to purchase Kindle and Kindle books in sterling from our Amazon.co.uk site," Bezos said.
The UK Kindle store will have more than 250,000 books available at launch along with daily newspapers such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
American telecoms giant AT&T, which works alongside a number of partner networks in 100 countries around the globe, will provide the wireless connectivity for the device. In the UK, the device will use wireless 3G technology for downloads, with no monthly data charges or annual subs insists Amazon.
The Kindle will not be sold in China because Amazon is unable to ship the Kindle and offer Kindle content to Chinese customers, the company said.
Bestseller books will cost $11.99 or more for international customers, with about 100,000 other titles available for less than $5.99, Amazon said. These prices are higher than in the US where most bestsellers sell for $9.99.
Amazon also said that it is lowering the price of the 6-inch display Kindle in the US to $259 from $299. The Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch display retails for $489.
The Kindle with US & International Wireless is 0.36 inches thick and weighs just over 10 ounces, Amazon said. Its 2GB of memory holds up to 1,500 books. The device features an experimental text-to-speech feature, Amazon added.
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