Friday, July 24, 2009

Publishers expect to see UK Kindle this autumn
23.07.09 Graeme Neill n The Bookseller
A UK version of the Amazon Kindle e-book reader is expected this autumn. Publishers speaking to The Bookseller suggested that the US-based retailer was actively planning an October launch for the device.
Amazon has previously said that it would launch the e-book reader internationally, but has never divulged a timeline. Following reports last week that had secured a UK manufacturer for the device, one digital director said: "I think we are looking at October for launch." Another agreed: "Amazon is gathering a head of steam for launch."
A spokesperson for wireless development company Qualcomm declined to comment on suggestions that it was developing the UK model of the Kindle. Qualcomm provides the whispernet wireless service for Amazon in the US that enables users to download e-books remotely to their Kindle.
While a UK launch may only be months away, it appears unclear how much e-books will be sold for. In the US, new releases and New York Times bestsellers sell for $9.99 (£6.08). However, one publisher said discussions were ongoing about price. "It's still early days. I think a lot of people are looking at the US and seeing that the pricing model there is not sustainable in the longer term."
Most of Amazon's retail rivals already have an e-book reading device on the market with Waterstone's, W H Smith and selling the Sony Reader. Blackwell became the latest retailer to sell a device when said it planned to launch the BeBook into stores in August. Borders launched the Elonex e-book reader into all of its stores last month. Priced £189, it is the cheapest device on the high street.

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