The popular electronic reading device from Amazon, also known as the Kindle, went global this week — sort of. Up until now, the $259 Kindle has only been available to U.S. customers. But beginning Monday, it will be shipped to 100 countries and be sold to readers outside the U.S., but not including Canada.
The Globe and Mail spoke to Amazon’s PR department, who said, “We want to ship Kindle everywhere and we’re working hard on it, but at this time we are not able to ship to Canada.” It appears it’s easier to ship the Kindle to some of the other destinations on Amazon’s list, such as Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hungary and Japan, than it is to ship to Canada.
One of the reasons tech experts believe the Kindle will not be heading north is because of the network capability. The current Kindle wirelessly downloads content in the U.S. over Sprint’s network, but outside the country a USB cable is needed to receive new content. The international version will rely on AT&T’s network around the world. Others believe the issue is one surrounding copyrights of the materials, but Amazon said that is not the case.
The Globe also quoted Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener, who said: “Kindle with US & International Wireless has wireless connectivity in Canada. We want to ship to Canada and we are working on it.”
Canada’s three major wireless networks, Bell Canada, Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications could all handle the connectivity needed to make the Amazon work. Bell says they would be open to discussing the idea with Amazon, while Telus and Rogers stayed quiet on the issue.
But like all good things, they eventually make their way north. We’ve seen it with the Apple iPhone, and with the Flip Mino HD camera… it just takes a little while longer. But I still have hope that I’ll be holding a Kindle in my hand one day. =)
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