Amazon will launch the Kindle in the UK, possibly as early as next month, The Times reports. According to the leading publishing trade magazine The Bookseller, the highly successful reading device will hit shelves as early as October. An official announcement from Amazon could come as early as next week.
It was only a matter of time before Amazon would launch the Kindle outside the US. They just never divulged a possible timeframe. Last week Amazon.co.uk secured a UK manufacturer for the device. Amazon expects to sell a million in the US before year end. Bringing the device to the UK will definitely help them gain more market share. The Association of American Publishers says that eBook sales in July were up 213 per cent compared with July last year.
Qualcomm have worked out a solution to offer the whispernet wireless service in the UK. Over the 3G network connection users can buy and download new eBooks wirelessly. However, Amazon will meet a stiff competition, since its biggest rival Sony has a device on the market with Waterstones, W H Smith and Play.com, selling the Sony Reader. The Bookseller also reports that Blackwells offers exclusively the BeBook in all its stores since August. Borders launched the Elonex e-book reader into all of its stores last month. Priced Â£189, it is the cheapest device on the high street.
It remains unclear what the Kindle will cost when it launches in the UK. The newest Sony Reader, named Daily Edition, offers both wireless syncing and a touch screen, which analysts call a great advantage over the Kindle. Students have not been impressed by the Kindle, though. The Wall Street Journal reports a lackluster response to it.