Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kindle News: PCWorld - Why isn't the Kindle Fire global yet? Today's free Kindle books

First, today's sets of temporarily-free Kindle books selected and listed by Kindle forum members. April 1 books (no joke)
  As of this morning, it's already almost 300 newly free books.
  And then there's the ongoing Kindle Daily Deal ('White Witch')

The Kindle Fire and global (non)availability
PCWorld's Jeff Bertolucci asks what many outside the U.S. have been asking: "If Amazon's tablet is so popular, why is it only available in the United States?"

They point out that the Kindle Touch 3G  E-Ink reader will be available on April 27 in 175 countries and territories, but nothing at all has been said about the Kindle Fire.

One thing many of us have thought of is a point made by Bertolucci -- Amazon's streaming video and audio and apps too have not been available outside the U.S. as there are complex geo-based digital rights involved and you'd wonder what the advantage would be for those in other countries.  He points out that it would be a Kindle Fire without Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and Amazon Prime, or whatever international equivalents of those apps.

Amazon did invest heavily in the last 1.5 years in a popular video streaming outfit overseas seen as "the Netflix of Europe -- LoveFilm - See the earlier article on that.

IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell told PCWorld via email :
' My guess is that they don't have foreign-language video and music content deals lined up, and those are much more important for the Fire [than for the E-ink Kindle Touch].. There could be issues about localising apps as well.'

All that does make sense. "Localising" means adapting software for a specific region or language.

Bertolucci adds:
' Another possibility is that Amazon's cloud storage facilities aren't ready to handle millions of new global customers who want to store their digital content, including books, movies, music, and apps, on Amazon's servers. '

A recent Kindle forum thread is a discussion by a few Kindle owners who have managed to download (or upload to Amazon servers) 16,000 to 20,000 Kindle books each, due to the abundance of free books offered.

  Their Kindles' Archived Items folders will of course have problems handling listing 16-20,000 titles, so they don't use the WiFi as much, but it appears that the Amazon ManageYourKindle page on the web is also affected by the data for that many Kindle books needing to be accessed for tabular listings of 20K books when they log on to try to find things in their Amazon libraries.

  So Bertolucci probably has a good point there.

He also mentions that while the price of the Kindle Fire is seen as a good one here, global customers would probably pay much more, citing the Kindle Touch 3G pricing of £169 in the UK, $268 US equivalent.

Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

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  1. Amazon really needs a better way to let us manage our books on-line. I send a few different news sources there every day and also books and I've got 900-ish things I want to delete and only a complicated multi-click scripted page that redraws after every delete. It's AWFUL.

    The way that Kindle lets me scroll through my archive books and documents on my iPad/iPhone is amazing (this might be in the Android/Fire version too). If only they'd let me click a delete button. Or check 10 things at once.

    I'm using their storage, you'd think they'd want my junk out more than me.

    1. One touchy matter is they have language prohibiting the personal doc feature from being used for feeds sent by commercial non-Amazon sources. They get nothing out of that, but I agree that the delete mechanism has to be smoother. That kind of unnecessary redrawing is curious.

    2. Amazon's SendToKindle Windows app will let you send content to a Kindle without storing it in Personal Documents. Wish they would let you use a 'nostore' keyword in email that would have the same effect.

      Bertolucci's point about cloud storage doesn't make sense to me. They only store references to video/music/books for Amazon content, not instances for each customer. Uploaded content is limited to 5GB (or rather 5 for 'Cloud Drive' and another 5 for 'Personal Documents') unless the customer pays. And all of this is miniscule compared to the size of the AWS business in total (which again is paid for and expanding rapidly to meet demand of business customers who are moving their network resources to Amazon's cloud).

      I may not be typical but I don't use my Fire for long form video. If I'm at home, I want a big screen and have company to watch it with. On the road, free wifi quality is usually not up to the task, and paying for a data plan (with wifi tethering) to stream video content is costly. So I don't think the video component is critical (wonder how Apple and Google are doing with this). eBooks, MP3, Apps is enough.

      But since everybody seems to think new Fires are in the works, maybe Europe will just skip a generation and get the next gen along with the rest of us.

    3. Tom, right. It's 10 gigs per each customer. The problem with the instances of people keeping 20,000 Kindle books is not that they are keeping separate copies of it but it's a drag on the system to have a library that's called-up when the owner logs in and then when choosing to see the library, 20,000 books are individually accessed with data to be shown and connected with data for the person. As people have seen with far fewer books, it is extremely slow, and Amazon reps have said they didn't expect people would be buying and storing records of 20K Kindle books.

      I don't know what is typical but I've seen notes from many people who watch movies and tv shows on the KFire, sometimes, because they can watch with headphones while spouse is watching something else and both are happy. Me, I watch TV shows I've missed (usually series). I love it for that. I do have several TVs but sometimes I just want the little 7" propped up showing me something while I also do other things and the picture is really good though I need to use a mini speaker with it.

      For me the video component is the main reason I enjoy it so much. My apps use is only to gain access to things like that and to magazines. I'm a heavy web user on it too. Am not a game player because I get too addicted and it can get nervewracking.


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