Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has been making avid book fans and gadget geeks drool ever since it launched in the USA in 2007. Now it looks like Amazon may finally be ready to take it to a wider market, starting with the UK.
A report from The Bookseller claims Amazon is preparing to announce the device as early as next week, setting it up for a good run of sales up to Christmas. This fits with earlier rumours of a pre-Christmas launch.
The delay in launching the device internationally is down to its ‘Whispernet’ always-on internet connection over a mobile phone network. This allows users to browse and buy books wherever they can get a signal. This feature, coupled with the might of Amazon’s brand, should help make Kindle a hit beyond the USA. Qualcomm has reportedly been working on a version of the Kindle compatible with UK mobile frequencies.
There’s no word as to whether Amazon will be bringing both current Kindle models to the UK. In the States it currently sells the Kindle 2 and a larger Kindle DX with an accelerometer to rotate the screen between portrait and landscape modes.
Amazon’s arrival in the UK market should help kick-start e-reader sales there. Despite Sony e-readers being heavily promoted in Waterstones bookstores, they have yet to capture the public’s imagination.