Amazon Kindle to ship in NZ - with Vodafone as carrier

Confusion reigned last night about a possible delay in the iPhone 4's release - but there was one bit of good gadget news.

Yesterday, Amazon previewed a new model of its Kindle ebook reader (pictured).

A Sydney-based rep for the company told NBR last night that the new model would be released in New Zealand (and 140 other countries) on August 27.

The new Kindle is the tablet's third major upgrade - but is known simply as "Kindle", not Kindle 3.

Previous Kindles have not been available for New Zealand, and those who've imported one themselves have required a US credit card to download Kindle format e-books from Amazon.

The Amazon rep said there was no New Zealand dollar pricing or shipping cost yet.

The US dollar price for the new model is $US189 ($NZ346) for the 3G version (which can download books via a cellular connection, thanks to its built in cellular radio), and $US139 ($181) for the wi-fi only version.

A few advantages over the Kobo
The basic model Kindle has the same size screen (six inches on the diagonal) as Whitcoulls recently released Kobo (the first ebook reader and dowload service to hit New Zealand), and the same matte e-ink greyscale display.

But Kindle enjoys several advantages, including better bookmarking, a physical keyboard for annotations, and a wider selection of ebook titles (assuming all are made available to New Zealanders). Plus, if you buy the 3G version, Amazon promises you'll be able to download any ebook, anywhere within cellular coverage, in around 30 seconds.

Vodafone to carry
Vodafone New Zealand will be the carrier for the 3G version of the Kindle.

Kindle ebook downloads via Vodafone's 3G network will be free, said the Amazon rep (or built into the cost of the ebook, depending on your point of view).

A spokesman for Vodafone NZ new nothing about the release (is anybody telling them anything these days?). But Amazon told NBR that Vodafone is definitely the one.

Lighter, higher-spec'd
Most New Zealanders have never sighted a Kindle, but Americans and Australains will note the new model is 21% lighter than its predecessor.

It can also hold more ebooks now, too - 3500 or 2000 more than the previous entry-level model.

Room for Kobo
Whitcoulls Kobo platform retains two advantages.

One, the Kobo reader can display e-books and documents in multiple formats, including PDF and the open ePUB standard.

Two, the Kobo download service will deliver an e-book for mutliple platforms (including PC, iPhone, Android and iPad), not just the Kobo tablet. A Kindle reader is tied to Amazon's proprietary format.

What of iPad?
Apple's multipurpose iPad - with its colour, 10-inch screen - is regarded as a capable, if heavy (700g) ebook reader.

But the associated iBookstore download service is so far only available in the US.

At the iPad NZ launch last week, an Apple spokeswoman told NBR that there was no timeframe for expanding iBookstore outside North America.

MORE: pcworld.com preview


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21 Comments & Questions

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Chris
You might want to proof read your articles a bit more carefully -
'A spokesman for Vodafone new nothing about the release' - should read
'A spokesman for Vodafone knew nothing about the release.

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It's worth noting that there are kindle apps for iphone, ipad, mac and pc and so you can read your purchased books on all these platforms.

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Having downloaded War and Peace for a test run onto my Iphone, I doubt I will use the Iphone as a reader in other than moments when my real book of the moment has been finished. Given IPad's damning review in a New Zealand site last week, I doubt the Ipad will appeal, either. So, very interested in the news about the Kindle.

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The US/NZ exchange rate gyrated pretty sharply between the 3G version (0.54c) and the wi-fi only (0.76c), but neither effort reflects the real world. What will the actual NZ prices be?

Is there to be a reduced-price version of the Kindle DX?

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Boring... get an ipod

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Seriously "number Plate" - how many books have you read on your Ipad? I haven't met an Ipad owner yet that has read one. Kindle for the literate, Ipad for the rest!

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have read books on ipad as i dont have a kindle

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I have a Kindle 2 have had it for about 1.5 years, I didn’t need a US credit card to purchase it I used my NZ Credit card, just needed to know someone in the US and get it delivered to them, who then sent it on to me. I was lucky and pre-ordered this new Wi-Fi version of the Kindle, so now my daughter can have my Kindle 2. I love the Kindles and wouldn’t be without one for even one day!
Amazon charges $20.00 USD to ship to NZ so my order came to $159.00 USD which at the current exchange rate equates to around $220.00 NZD

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so how or where do u get the downloads from?

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so maybe Vodafone REALLY doesn't know anything about this.

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I ordered my Kindle online from the helpful people a www.kindlenewzealand.net

All Kindles, books and accessories available from http://www.kindlenewzealand.net

Great Site!

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I have just got one of these, 3G version and the web browser feature is not supported by Vodafone, Kindle store works, but all other sites do not. Thats what you get for living in NZ, in the rest of the World it works.

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You just saved me like a hundred bucks, I was going to buy the 3G version thinking it would work for some internet browsing... thank you!

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I have a big gripe about companies blocking products from coming to our part of the world.

I would very much like to have a Kindle but the "We only ship to USA and Canada" statement on every online retailer is annoying.

I was trying to purchase a laptop from the states because their prices are 40% cheaper than the prices we get in New Zealand (Shipping can't be $600 for a laptop) but was continuously slammed with the denial statement because of where I live.

New Zealand should start making Nuclear bombs, so the rest of the world takes us seriously.

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I just booked a kindle 2 ($189 USD) through Amazon and the price with the xchg rt comes to NZD. $289. But the NZ rate ( not sure if they are available through stores) seem to be atleast $50 more.

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Does anyone know if the access to Wikipedia works here in New Zealand? I read above the browser does not work over Vodafone but I thought I read elsewhere that access to Wikipedia still works.
Tony

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www.kindlenewzealand.net This site doesn't work either. ;P
Trying to figure out which model to get and what will even be possible with it in the first place. Amazon said that its selection will not be the same everywhere. If the sorts of books we like to read will not even be available on Kindle, it wouldnt be worth the money to get one here. Amazon customer service was useless in making this decision. Where can we find good, up-to-date information about Kindle options in New Zealand?

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I want to purchase a kimdle but am unsure if it will work here in new zealand. I would like all the apps to work. Would purchasing the newest version or the 3g wireless one get all the apps here?

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I want to purchase a kimdle but am unsure if it will work here in new zealand. I would like all the apps to work. Would purchasing the newest version or the 3g wireless one get all the apps here?

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Are New Zealanders able to buy the Kindle Touch 3G & WiFi at the moment,if not when will they be available?

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Kindle Touch now official ship to New Zealand at http://www.ereadernewzealand.com

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