As Amazon.com launches the new Kindle 2 for international users, buyers in France may have more complaints than benefits.
Amazon.com’s original Kindle was launched in late 2007 and is a wireless, hand-held device complete with 3G networking to deliver everything from the latest novel to the daily newspaper at your fingertips.
Since the Kindle’s 2007 release, Amazon has created the Kindle 2 making it available internationally on October 19th. It is also available as an application on the Apple iphone. The Kindle 2 boasts of text size options, easy wireless access and free book samples. The device appeals to an older consumer market, ages 40+ contrary to most popular gadgets.
Though Kindle 2 is available to French language readers, options are limited and ebook prices are higher. American readers have over 200,000 titles to chose from, but Europeans have about half that amount. If fewer options aren’t enough of a turn-off, the price hike may be. European customers must purchase ebooks through the U.S. based Amazon.com only to pay an average of $13 on a book that costs only about $9 in the United States. The price difference even includes newspapers.
The New York Times, sold in the United States to Kindle users for $13.99 a month, costs $27.99 here in Europe. Even the International Herald Tribune, which is actually published in France, is more expensive here: $9.99 in the United States compared to $19.99 for Europe.
Less for more seems to be the trend.
With so much competition from the Sony Reader and France’s own Bookeen, will the Kindle 2 fair well for French users? Will the French choose not to embrace the Kindle 2 at all because of the price differences between Europe and America?