Nearly everyone I know who owns a Kindle travels internationally. So Amazon’s latest move, to allow e-reader buyers to download e-books wirelessly not only in the U.S. but also in more than 100 other countries comes as no surprise. Amazon is simply trying to increase the device’s appeal to its core, business traveler market segment.
“These are smart moves for Amazon, as a good proportion of early Kindle adopters have been business travelers, who were frustrated by the inability to download new books outside the country,” Larry Fisher, a research director at consultant ABI Research wrote in an Oct. 7 note. “It also opens up the rest of the world as potential markets for Amazon and the Kindle, at a time when competing e-book readers have been trying to make the transition from other countries to the US market.”
With international wireless connectivity added in, the Kindle becomes attractive to overseas buyers, partly because of its relatively low cost. Even with shipping and import fees added in, the new Kindle international e-reader is often cheaper than rival products sold in various countries.
The new, international Kindle model will launch on Oct. 19 and sell for $279. The price of Amazon’s domestic-only Kindle, which used to sell for $299, has been reduced to $259.