See the current reference information at http://bit.ly/kwpweb.
I wanted to write some thoughts on the Nookcolor yesterday but was detoured by an interesting Amazon UK Kindle message thread and an Amazon UK website listing of
These happen to match, closely, the countries list I made, in June (and have updated), of:
1. countries for which the free 3G web browsing had seemed, from their country product-pages and Kindle-owner experience, to suddenly be officially enabled at the time of Kindle software update v2.5.x and also
2. the 9 countries one would expect the 3G web to be enabled but for which this feature was listed as "not available." Those nine countries with no official 3G web browsing capability (outside of Wikipedia and the book store) were, and apparently still are
Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.The Table's information also matches reports from U.S. residents traveling abroad who find they can use their free 3G browsing in those listed countries and even in ones for which the feature has not been enabled officially.
UPDATE - The same type of unexpected access is described in the UK forum thread which lists countries that traveling UK Kindle owners actually were able to do 3G web browsing in and those reports also included countries NOT on the official list, such as France, Germany, Netherlands, etc. [End of Update]
Interestingly, a post on the 3rd page of an Amazon Kindle Forum message thread, from T'Mara in Austria, reports that although the 3G web browsing isn't enabled for residents of Austria, Austrians traveling to other countries CAN use the 3G experimental web browsing feature in countries where that is enabled (via Agreements with cellular network carriers).
That is good news but also reminds us that if the feature is used "too much" Amazon might not be able to continue offering it in some regions, so I use my WiFi capability whenever I can, instead, to minimize the cost to Amazon, in hopes of their retaining/continuing the free feature.
Here is that TABLE of
International Web Browsing
The experimental web browser is free to use over Kindle's 3G or Wi-Fi connections. If you are travelling outside the United Kingdom, you can access Wikipedia in over 100 countries anywhere you have a 3G connection (check the wireless coverage map here). You can browse other websites globally via a Wi-Fi connection. Access to other websites while travelling abroad is available via a 3G connection in the
6159 countries listed below.
[Actually, U.S. and UK residents travelling in countries where 3G web access isn't allowed for its own residents due to carrier-agreements, find that they can use the 3G web-browsing access in those countries as well.-- ab]
Albania Argentina Aruba Australia Bahamas Barbados Bermuda Bolivia Brazil Bulgaria Canada Cayman Islands Chile Colombia Croatia Czech Republic Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Grenada Guam Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Ireland Jamaica Japan Kenya Liechtenstein Macedonia Mexico Montserrat Nicaragua Norway Panama Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Puerto Rico Romania Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines South Africa Slovakia Slovenia Switzerland Taiwan Thailand United States of America Uruguay US Virgin Islands Venezuela
Access to the web browser within these countries may vary and is subject to change.
Kindle's new web browser is based on WebKit to provide a better web browsing experience. Now it's easier than ever to find the information you're looking for right from your Kindle. Click here to learn more about using Kindle's experimental web browser.
Two changes over the last year were 'Russia' and "Ukraine' no longer being on this table.
Because of several forum message threads at MobileRead and at Amazon forums, in which perplexed prospective international Kindle purchasers were at a loss to decide on whether to get 3G or not because they could not get information, from Amazon U.S. pages, on whether or not 3G web browsing was available in their countries, especially Germany and the Netherlands, I asked Amazon about it.
I received eventually, after much research and coordination on the part of Executive Customer Relations, a reply that I was given permission to quote which I finally placed on one of the forum threads with customers who had lost 3G web access as well as those who wondered if they should purchase the 3G in their countries. I asked Amazon a follow-up question about this quote, as "3G" was not mentioned in the reply though my email was entirely about 3G web browsing availability but I never heard back.
' ======= From Executive Customer Relations =======
"To your web access questions; yes, Wikipedia is available in Germany as it is in all countries. Web Browser access to the internet works in Germany and in the Netherlands and access to the internet is the same for all device versions and generations."
The reply did differentiate between Wikipedia that IS available everywhere that Amazon wireless exists and the web browser availability.
Within the context of my questions about 3G browsing-availability info that prospective purchasers felt they needed, the Amazon reply seems to say that 3G web browsing was available in those two countries -- however, the wording '3G' was not part of the quote itself so I hesitated to write it up without further clarification, which I didn't receive.
STILL, the part about 'all device versions and generations' could be a big clue since no Kindle device before Kindle 3 ever had WiFi. So, -IF- that's right, what is the answer to how one goes about having it re-enabled for Kindle owners residing in those two countries who lost it.
I asked for further clarification from Public Relations/Media and received two very positive replies saying that they should be able to get the answer within a day or so, but I never did receive any more replies although they'd been forthcoming in the past when they could not comment and just said they couldn't and even though I did write again to ask that they say something more, for prospective customers needing to make an informed decision, even if the answer was no. Apparently, they just do not want to go on record with more than I received.
Interestingly, Amazon UK is just more forthcoming, for some reason, actually listing, on their support pages,
WHY THE SILENCE FROM AMAZON US?
As I said on the Kindle forums, 3G web browsing is probably a financial minefield for them, so it's important how something is phrased. You can imagine several departments trying to agree on wording.
Also, they likely have complex contracts being negotiated currently, and in some cases really may not be able to say anything without possibly affecting talks.
My final question for Amazon has been:
Who do customers go to when they cannot find out whether or not the 3G web browsing is *supposed* to be enabled/disabled for them and what to do if it shouldn't be disabled but is?
Those remain the unanswered questions. I've asked the customers to, themselves, ask further up the chain when getting Customer Support replies that say only that 'some' countries don't have 3G web browser availability instead of responding to customer queries about their specific countries.
I'm just reporting the situation based on several forum discussions I saw, but customers need to follow up, themselves, when they are the ones affected.
What a prospective European customer can do about deciding on the 3G/WiFi model is to just accept, at this point, that the only certainty -- in the 9 restricted European countries -- is the free 3G access to the bookstore and its books and to Wikipedia, and hope for the best on anything else, and decide from that.
Amazon, unlike Barnes and Noble, sells its books outside the U.S. It also is the only e-reader maker with 3G web-browsing to external websites, as the other e-book vendors keep the 3G access (if their models have it at all) to their stores only and certainly don't offer free-3G Wikipedia, which Amazon offers for free 3G-access EVERYwhere in the world that they have any cellular wireless arrangements.
This is a real boon for students of any age and IS an expense for Amazon.
With over a hundred countries in which Amazon offers free 3G wireless to download books to their Kindle and browse Wikipedia from their books, Amazon, for all my nagging of them, is way ahead of the field in this important area.
That they offer free 3G web browsing in
And, for the first time, in July-August 2010, their marketing ads stressed the "Free 3G" in the titles or headers, so they wouldn't be changing that very soon.
On the general International product-marketing pages, they include in their listed features:
New WebKit-Based Browser - Free 3G web browsing (experimental)
Abandoning that too soon when it's featured in the marketing would not have been good business and even a year later would not be, because that advertising continues.
Time will tell, as they say. It's a great experiment though. As I've said in other threads, I often use mine for step-by-step directions when lost, as a passenger in a car. The fact that you can access information for free almost wherever you are (bus, car, beach, park) is just a Huge benefit, in my opinion.
Kindle Fire 7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow 3G web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
*Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE. Or click on the web browser's BACK button
Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!