California: Amazon.com on Tuesday announced it is releasing an international version of the Kindle and trimming prices of the coveted electronic book readers.
Kindle models designed to synch with telecom networks in countries around the world are priced at $279 and basic Kindles tailored only for use in the United States had prices trimmed $40 to $259.
“For the first time ever, Kindle is available for sale outside the US,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told AFP as he provided a glimpse of the international model in Cupertino, California.
“Now, Kindle will work in a hundred countries. With Kindle you can be in France and get an English-language book within 60 seconds.”
International Kindles can be ordered online at amazon.com/kindle but shipping won’t start until 19 October.
“We have millions of customers around the world that buy English-language books from us,” Bezos said.
“Our vision for Kindle is every book ever printed, in print or out of print, in every language available within 60 seconds. For now, it is English.”
Amazon has teams working on digitizing books in languages other than English, so its stock of works for electronic reading is “really like 99% English,” Bezos said.
Kindle has become the top selling item at Amazon.com since its US launch two years ago. It is also the most “gifted and wished for” thing on Amazon’s virtual shelves, according to Bezos.