Amazon will not launch its Kindle e-book in the UK in time for Christmas, as the giant online retailer has become caught in Europe's complex web of Wi-Fi operators. The Kindle, which allows the download of hundreds of books wirelessly from the internet, has been a hit in the US where 380,000 units are expected to be sold this year.
By Sarah Butler writing in The Telegraph, 16 Oct 2008
There had been hopes that Amazon would launch a European version of the Kindle at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, but Brian McBride, managing director of Amazon UK, said that it would not be ready for launch here until next year at the earliest.
The delay is partly because the Kindle uses a free wireless service called whispernet, which enables users to download books, and signing up networks around Europe is a complex operation.
Mr McBride told The Bookseller: "If you need agreement with carriers in the US, there is one carrier. In Europe it is a minefield, as there are so many operators. If you buy a Kindle in the UK and want to read it on the beach on holiday, unless we have signed deals in Spain it is not going to work on the beach."
He added: "It has launched in the US and we will let them handle any technical wrinkles before we bring it over here."