7th October, 2009: Kindle 2 International has been released for 174 countries – sadly Kindle Canada is missing. Amazon do have a note saying they are working on it and should have an update soon.
The international kindle ships from the US and import duties and postage are added on to the $279 price.
Indigo Books & Music Inc. are currently in final talks with a number of E-Book Reader manufacturers and will be choosing one to launch as their own here in Canada by the end of this year [CEO Heather Reisman] … willing only to confirm that it won’t be the Sony Reader, already available and supported by Sony’s own online E-Book store, nor Amazon’s Kindle which has yet to find a launch in Canada.
Wasn’t Kindle supposed to be in Canada already?
Yes, except it isn’t – which leaves the Canadian market open for Indigo. The reason for there being no Amazon Kindles in Canada is the standard ‘we can’t work out a carrier deal’ excuse. However, it probably has more to do with Canada not being as lucrative a market as the US, or the West European countries.
The move by Indigo Books is great since it puts some pressure on Amazon to figure out a Kindle Canada plan by end 2009 or risk losing first mover advantage.
Quill and Quire point out that Canadian publishing houses have heard nothing from Indigo and that Indigo won’t confirm the reports.
Indigo is looking to strengthen ShortCovers
Indigo books jumped into ebooks on Feb 27, 2009 with its Shortcovers Mobile App. Currently,
- ShortCovers is available on the iPhone, for the BlackBerry, and on Android.
- You can buy books or individual chapters.
- You can also get blogs, poems, articles, short stories, and fan fiction.
An Indigo branded eReader that accesses Shortcovers ebooks makes perfect sense. Revealing their plans this early was rather hasty.
In addition to this ‘exclusive’ ereader, Shortcovers are making some additional good moves –
- They updated their iPhone and BlackBerry Apps on the 22nd of May.
- They’ve been reducing prices and promising even better prices as usage grows.
- They are opening up the ShortCovers platform for developers.
Indigo Books are a Canadian company so it makes sense for them to test an Indigo EReader in Canada first (they have the retail locations, brand, etc.). If they can release before the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX hit Canada they get a bit of an advantage. Also, if they’re successful, expect them to jump into the US market in 2010.
Where does that leave the Canada eReader Scene?
The current scenario in Canada is -
- You can get the Sony PRS505 for $349 and the Sony Reader PRS700 for $449 from BestBuy Canada.
- Indigo’s ‘exclusive’ ereader ought to be available by end 2009.
- No known date for a Kindle 2 Canada launch. Kindle DX will probably arrive at the same time.
The threat to the Kindle of an Indigo branded eReader is pretty significant. Amazon ought to hammer out the carrier deals and international book rights contracts they need - soon.