Kindle Gets Cheaper, Travels Internationally

Kindle Gets Cheaper, Travels Internationally
Haven't bought a Kindle 2 yet? Good. Amazon.com, which knocked the price of its e-book reader down by $60 only last July, has cut it by another forty bucks. You can now buy one for $259 -- and while that may not be a magic price point, it's a lot more tempting than the $400 that the original Kindle cost when it debuted a couple of years ago. The big Kindle DX, with its 9.7-inch screen, remains a pricey $489.

The price cut may be in part a reaction to Sony's renewed vigor as a Kindle competitor, although the Kindle was already a deal by comparison to any of Sony's models. (The cheapest Sony is $199 but has a smaller screen than the Kindle and no wireless; the wireless Sony costs $399.)

More intriguingly, Amazon has added a $279 variant that uses a GSM radio to let you download content in a hundred countries around the world. (In the U.S., it's powered by AT&T; other Kindles use Sprint's network.) You pay a $1.99 surcharge to download books outside the U.S. (reasonable enough) and the same free to download a single issue of a magazine (pricey!). Amazon is taking pre-orders now says the new version will ship on October 19.

Folks in many countries outside the U.S. can buy this model, but Amazon hasn't truly internationalized the Kindle: Non-U.S. buyers apparently have to order their readers from the U.S., and get a device with an interface and content in English, with a U.S. wall adapter. One presumes that now that Amazon has engineered a GSM electronic reader, we'll see it start to roll out some truly localized versions in other countries before long.

This story, "Kindle Gets Cheaper, Travels Internationally" was originally published by Technologizer.

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