China’s long wait for Amazon’s devices could soon finally be over, according to a report that claims the Kindle reader and Kindle Fire will officially launch in the country on June 7 and that Amazon has already set prices for its devices.
According to a Sina Tech report,
sources said Amazon may have pinned down the date, but it has struggled to gauge pricing and is still awaiting final approval from the headquarters. Update: Prices of the Amazon devices have been finalized, according to the latest news from Sina Tech. Citing sources, the report says the Kindle Paperwhite with Wifi will retail from 849 yuan ($138), while the 7-inch or 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will sell for between 1400—1500 yuan ($228-$245).
Currently there is no insight into the cost of the 3G Paperwhite or Kindle Fire, but – going on mandatory filing made to ensure its devices can operate on wireless networks in China – Amazon is expected to launch its full range of devices in the country.
Besides Amazon’s own online store, the Kindle will also reportedly be sold via Suning.com, the online branch of electronics retailer Suning Appliance. It is also said to be available through offline channels including Suning shopfronts.
While there has been plenty of speculation, a photo from Weibo user @Mr_各种浪 gives more credence to reports. He recently captured a photo of the Kindle product counter that has been set up at Suning, though he clarified that there was no sign of the product itself and salespeople didn’t know the retail price when asked. (You can see the image taken off the Weibo below.)
Amazon’s Kindle launch in China has been plagued with problems, as the company seeks to stave off challenges related to rampant piracy in the country that has made Chinese consumers unused to paying for digital content. The Sina Tech report says that, over the past few months, Amazon has shut down Chinese site Ikandou’s download channels for Kindle eBooks, and clamped down on Douban’s Kindle function.
Amazon last year quietly launched Chinese versions of its Kindle apps for iOS and Android and a localized Kindle electronic bookstore, hinting that the Kindle would arrive imminently, but a credible rumour that it would launch on April 16 this year came and went without any news. Earlier this month, Amazon opened its Android-oriented Appstore in China, clearing the way for it to sell its own hardware in the country.
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