Update… The Australian Kindle Version 3 has dropped price to just $USD139. With the Australian dollar so strong that means you can import a Kindle for an amazing price.
Amazon.com has just announced that the Kindle ebook eReader will become available in Australia from October 19, 2009 for just $USD279. (Note… this seems to have dropped now to $USD259 which places it as the same price as the US version). With shipping and currency exchange that places an absolutley amazing piece of technology in your hands for about $340 Australian which is just a fraction of what Australian retails are trying to sell less functional ebooks readers for.
This is the news that many have been waiting for and the availability of the Kindle will allow Australia to catch up with the US in terms of ebook sales. Amazon recently announced that for every 100 paper books sold they now sell 35 ebooks yet in Australia the ebook readers have had very little exposure.
eBook readers, or eReaders as they called, are the future of reading books and magazines, textbooks and newspapers. The eInk technology in modern ereaders allow them to recreate the pages of a book with the added ability of being able to carry a whole bookcase around with you in a unit that weights a fraction of the weight of a new release. The Amazon Kindle will hold about 1,500 books. How long would that take you to read?
We purchased an eReader about 5 months ago now but the prices in Australia were that high we had to import it from Europe. In the past couple of weeks we were involved in the purchase of another ereader as a 40th birthday present for a friend and prolific reader of novels. In just two weeks it has changed her whole reading experience as the Kindle is about to do for thousands of Australians.
Watch this Introduction Video of the Kindle
Amazon’s Kindle is the worlds most popular eBook eReader but until now it has not officially been available to Australians. Whilst it was possible to import the Kindle into Australia after you purchased it in the US you could not take full advantage of it because is Whispernet connection was not available in the US. Amazon now sell an International version of the Kindle which for $USD20 over the price of the US version gives you access in most of ht world including Australia.
Advantages of the Amazon Kindle over other ebook ereaders
Whispernet is the first of two things that set the Kindle apart from other ebook readers. A usb connection is standard for transferring books to an ereader and a wifi connection is now becoming possible but Amazon has always thought big, real big.
When they released the Kindle it had an always on data connection though the mobile phone network much the same as many smartphone can access the internet. The best part was that you dont have to pay for this data connection as the price is factored in when you purchase your books. Of course another advantage is that you don’t ever need a computer to purchase and download new books.
With the Kindle you can finish up on one book, load up the bookshop browse the best seller list, pick another book and download it in around 60 seconds. In fact because you can access many of the worlds best newspapers, if you leave it on your bedside table you have the mornings newspaper downloaded and ready to read when you wake without taking on a frosty morning to find your paper in the lawn or making yourself presentable for the neighbours.
The the Kindle also automatically downloads posts from your favourite blogs and gives you free access to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia.
The other advantage that the Kindle has over any other ebook reader is it has access to the Amazon bookshop which holds over 350,000 titles and rising. Prices for new releases for Australians will be $USD9.99 which pitches a new release at just a fraction of what Australian books sellers sell them for. Older releases are even cheaper than that.
The Kindle is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it is certainly the best option for most avid readers. Similar to many movies and tv shows being illegally available there is an underground market on the internet for enovels and ebooks. These often come in a wide variety of formats that the Kindle can’t handle and is better suited for the Chinese Jinke range of eReaders which is sold under many names such as the BeBook, Hanlin and EcoReader and can handle dozens of different formats.
But will you like reading on Kindle eBook eReader?
eInk means that an eReader is more like a book than a computer. A computer screen is back lit but an eInk screen is not. If you are reading an eReader at night you have to have a light on it just like normal book. Reading a computer screen in full sunlight is impossible, but not so with an eInk screen. As I mentioned we have had another eReader ourself of just under 6 months. eInk does such a great job of simulating a paper page that in the first week or two you often find yourself trying to turn a physical page.
Kathryn loves the ebook reader so much I have yet to read anything on it myself. She simply won’t put it down but since it was her birthday present, that is probably fair. Our 2nd ereader will be the Kindle and maybe I will be able to use that! Our friend who received a reader for her birthday was a prolific reader before we even showed her ours but now she had her own she finished 9 novels in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charmaine Harris in 12 days. That’s as a good a testimonial for using an ebook reader that I have seen.
If you love reading, then you will love an eReader and especially the functionality and ease of use of the Kindle now available for Australians. The saving in books alone make this an amazing investment and your making a green statement saving all those trees!
Australia only gets the standard Kindle so far which is perfect for reading novels. The larger DX version is better for newspapers. If you are interested in the Kindle you can check out the Amazon website and order yours today.