Amazon.com launched the Kindle internationally yesterday, in over a 100 countries, but skipped a few, including Canada (see our story from yesterday: Amazon Skips Canada In Its Global Kindle Launch). The web is abuzz with speculation on why that happened…mostly to do with issues with wireless carriers here, but no specific reasons have been offered by Amazon as yet on why Canada was omitted.
And that has Canadians up in arms. Check out some reactions on Twitter (from “kindle+canada” Twitter search link):
Wall Street Journal offered some theories on this (WSJ: No Kindle For Canada, So Far):
What could be causing the delay with Canada? Indigo Books & Music, Canada’s largest book reseller, has a thriving digital business called ShortCovers, which lets people buy and read e-books on a variety of devices, including the iPhone, regular computers and dedicated e-readers, like one made by Sony.
For some markets, there may be issues with local censorship laws (such as China) or even incompatible cellphone technology standards (like South Korea). But those aren’t likely the problem in Canada, where the international Kindle’s wireless provider AT&T already has negotiated local data roaming agreements for handsets, including Apple’s iPhone.
The issue may have more to do with the complexities of securing the rights to sell digtial books…
..It’s also possible that Amazon is working on a native Canadian version of the Kindle. The new “U.S. and International” Kindle has to be purchased through Amazon’s U.S. store, and then imported to the buyers’ home countries…Amazon also charges $1.99 every time you download a book outside of the U.S. A local edition of the Kindle, either in Canada or the UK, could alleviate some of those problems — for those willing to wait.
More coverage from some Canadian media outlets: