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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

International Kindle Launches

The big news is that the Kindle went international yesterday! For $279 and a $2 delivery charge per book (and a $5 per week delivery charge for periodicals like newspapers), you can now have books, newspapers, etc., all sent to your Kindle while travelling. No more running out of reading materials in Hong Kong!

Furthermore, my friends in Germany can now own a Kindle! I was surprised by how expensive English books are in Germany, so I think this is a huge deal as well. I expect German adoption of Kindle to outpace that of the US by a significant margin because the payback period will be much lower. Books are incredibly expensive in most of the rest of the world.

Another bit of news that went soaring past most analysts' heads is that Lonely Planet travel guides are now available on the Kindle store. This will drive massive adoption in the "backpacking through Europe" summer student crowd, since not only can you now buy those lonely planets as you go, the weight savings are massive (those lonely planet country guides check in at a pound each!), and you can now use search on those massive tomes, which was something you never could do before when they were paper.

I've been resisting upgrades to the Kindle (mostly because of the loss of the replaceable battery and SD card), but I guess the international version will be a worthwhile upgrade for me the next time I travel.

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