Paperwhite Hits The UK In October
Amazon has announced that the new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader will be launching in the UK later this month. It will start shipping from October 25th - and the Kindle Fire and Kindle HD will also start shipping on the same day.
These should all be welcome additions to the UK Kindle family for Brits, who have proven to be keen Kindle users since Amazon opened the first non-US Kindle store in the UK back in 2010. UK Kindle owners have, according to Amazon, been buying as much as four times as many books as non-owners.
The Paperwhite will sell for £ 109 (wi-fi only) and £ 169 (3G version). The Fire will sell for £ 129 and the Fire HD will go for £ 159.
Obviously these prices are somewhat higher than a direct transfer from dollars to pounds, but that's generally the way of things in the UK. Consumers seem happy enough to shell out for their gadget fix, which is the main thing.
These hardware additions seem set to consolidate Amazon's leading (by a country mile) position in the UK ebook and ebook reader market.
UK Version Of Kindle Owner's Lending Library
Another welcome addition will be the opening of a UK version of the Kindle owner's lending library. This has been in operation in the USA for some time now and allows subscribers to the Amazon Prime premium delivery service to download one free book each month for use with the reader.
There are no fees for this and no due dates. About the only restriction is that the currently borrowed book be returned before a new one is taken out.
There are some good books available to borrow, from some very well known authors. For example, any of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series can be borrowed. Assuming that the UK has a similar choice of books, which seems reasonable apart from the odd UK/US copyright wrangle here and there, UK readers might be in for a treat.
Amazon's International Advantage
Amazon has, somewhat boldly, proclaimed the Kindle Paperwhite to be "the world's most advanced e-reader". It is a little brazen, but to be fair to Amazon, it is probably a justifiable claim.
Whether or not you agree with Amazon's publicity relating to its hardware, the fact that it is the market leader, and enjoys a significant advantage in the ebook reader market is indisputable. The simple contingency of making its Kindle hardware available to the worldwide market gives Amazon a very significant competitive edge over many of its competitors.