Amazon opens Kindle orders for NZ

After a two-year wait, New Zealanders can finally order an Amazon Kindle.

The latest model of the e-reader tablet was due for release on August 27 US time, but online sales are open now for NZ (and multiple other countries), ahead of schedule, Amazon spokewoman Stephanie Mantello told NBR this morning.

Well, sort of early. If you order now, Amazon promises delivery mid-September.

There are two models: one with wi-fi ($US139/$NZ198), one with wi-fi and 3G ($US189/$NZ254).

Shipping is $US20.98 ($NZ29.98).

The tablets and shipping are only listed in US dollars, so the price will fluctuate with the exchange rate, Ms Mantello said.

New Zealand lacking its own Amazon site, orders for the tablet will be taken via Amazon.com (whose NZ-specific Kindle page is here).

Amazon claims the Kindle's e-Ink display can be read even in bright sunlight, as demonstrated in this user test.

Vodafone to carry
Vodafone New Zealand will be the official carrier for the Kindle 3G (which also supports Edge/GSM). That is, every time a Kindle owner wireless downloads an e-book using their tablet’s built-in cellular radio, it will be downloaded - free - via Vodafone NZ’s network.

A spokesman for Vodafone NZ confirmed the telco was the official carrier but said the local operation was not familiar with the details.

The New Zealand contract was brokered between Amazon and Vodafone’s head office in the UK.

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

It’s hardware version supplement’s a Kindle software reader, which is available for iPad and iPhone.

400,000 Kindle-formatted e-books will be available via Amazon.com for the New Zealand market, plus various US and international newspapers and magazines.

Most New York Times best sellers and other new releases cost $US11.99 ($NZ16.13), while 175,000 older titles are priced under $US5.99 ($NZ8.06). All are priced in US dollars.

You can also copy your own files to a Kindle, via wi-fi (or a pricey 99 cents per MB via 3G).

Most New Zealanders have never sighted a Kindle, but Americans and Australains will note the new model is cheaper, and 21% lighter than its predecessor.

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

Still no Kindle DX
The larger format, $US379 Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch screen (that is, the same size as Apple's iPad, which sells from $799) is still not available for New Zealand.

Kindle vs Kobo vs iPad
Pity - while NBR likes Whitcoulls $295 Kobo (which has the same size display as a standard Kindle) - it's six-inch screen will only display a couple of paragraphs, meaning you're constantly clicking to turn.

The Kobo can also be a touch sluggish, and has a tendency to freeze, necessitating a restart, when not used for a few days.

And while e-ink is easy on the eyes, and has remarkable batter life, the lack of any backlighting is a pain when you're reading in bed at night.

While sharing an e-ink, non-backlit display, the Kindle adds several feature the Kobo lacks, including the ability to bookmark multiple pages, plus a physical keyboard, and the ability to annotate text. 

Using the software version of the Kindle reader on Apple's iPad (Apple's iBookstore is not yet available locally), NBR really appreciated the larger screen.

The ability to touch any word and instantly see a dictionary definition was another handy touch.

Yet you really start to feel the weight of the 700g iPad after just a couple of minutes of reading.

A standard Kindle is 240g; the Kindle DX a maybe-just-acceptable 536g.

A review unit of the standard Kindle is on its way to NBR, so watch this space.


22 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

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22 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

I have ordered a new Kindle 3G. One of the questions I am keen to get an answer to is can I use the experimental Web Browser on the Kindle over my 3G connection. And if I can, will I get charged for use/volume of data? Amazingly in the US, you don't get charged for 3G web browsing on the Kindle - which is fantastic. I can only hope the case is the same here.

Thanks

[Amazon's website says e-book downloads are free but personal file transfers over 3G will be charged at $0.99 per megabyte.

I've fwded your question to an Amazon media contact in the US for clarification. - CK]

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Thanks for forwarding my question. File Transfers are a different issue (they are typcially where you email a file to an amazon email account that is linked to your kindle and then the file shows up on your Kindle at $0.99 US a Mega Byte. That is a different issue than Browsing the Internet on the Kindle.

Thanks

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the "experimental" web browsing is only available in the US, it states this on the Amazon order page

the way I read it there are no monthly/usage charges for WWAN data at all

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NZers have been able to order Kindle for a while now, so I'm not sure why Amazon is announcing this today

I ordered (preordered) a Kindle3 3G at least a month ago now, from Amazon.com with delivery to a NZ address

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I can see the Apple ibook store from my iPad which has a Vodafone NZ SIM in it. I did purchase the iPad in the UK and may well have downloaded the ibook app whilst there (albeit through my NZ Apple ID).

That being said - all the content on the store is FREE as far as I can see.

Tom

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Is there any information about the availability of newspapers and magazines via Kindle for NZ? These are IMO a bigger reason to buy an ebook reader - books are kept or exchanged often, but newspapers and magazines are useless to most of us the following day or week. This makes an electronic version even more appropriate than for books. It would be great to have The Economist or The New York Times available via WiFi or 3G download waiting for me each morning.

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Give me the 9.7" version and i may be interested..

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Can someone explain to this non-technophile what the difference between the Kindle with Wifi and the Kindle with Wifi & 3G means, please? ie what exactly does Wifi and 3G mean?

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wifi and 3g are different ways to connect to the internet.

3g is a mobile technology that allows you to connect to the internet anywhere your cell phone gets reception. A kindle with just wifi will have to connect to someones wireless network before they have access to the internet.

Therefore the kindle with 3g and wifi will let you switch between the two methods.

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Since ebooks are downloaded to the kindle via wifi or 3G, what happens if you lose or break or get your kindle stolen? Have you lost all the books you have purchased, that were on your kindle? Or are you able to make a backup? Thanks

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As I understand from Amazon's website, your books are kept in your "library" at Amazon, and may be re-downloaded as many times as you wish (but only to your Kindle).

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Amazon keeps a record of all your books, and if you need to get a new Kindle for any reason will download them all to the new one at no extra cost.

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Amazon keeps a record of all your books, and if you need to get a new Kindle for any reason will download them all to the new one at no extra cost.

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Being able to buy the Kindle in NZ is all very well, but are we going to have the same problem getting ebooks as we already have getting audible books from Audible.com ie. the contemporary books that I want are usually "not available in your geographical zone".

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Hi Sally,

This has occurred to me, is it true that we will have less e books available as NZer's? Did you end up getting one in the end?

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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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Can I download ebooks to Kindle3 from different ( not Amazon) sources in aternative format/s being in New Zealand?

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Have been trying to register my kindle but every time a put in a password it still won't let me connect. What am I doing wrong

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Pity the Kindle is not compatible with the NZ library system ebook supported formats.
I suggest looking to buy a ereader that is, otherwise you will always be paying Amazon for books.

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I am in NZ currently, can I buy kindle +wi+3G online and use it later in Philippines? Im going home to Philippines soon, can I purchase e books online while I am there?Please answer asap.

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There are information of New kindle family NZ at <url>http://www.ereadernewzealand.com</url>

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