Amazon.com's Kindle ereader is heading for the world stage.
The company unveiled an international version of its popular Kindle device that will be powered by AT&T Mobility and its international roaming partners, which Amazon said will allow users to download content in more than 100 countries. Amazon also cut $40 off the price of its U.S. version, which runs on Sprint Nextel's network, from $299 down to $259. The new international version--which is physically the same as the U.S. version--will cost $279 and will start shipping Oct. 19.
As Amazon looks to broaden the Kindle's appeal, the move also cements AT&T's position in the ereader market. AT&T will provide 3G wireless connectivity to Sony's new ereader, called the Daily Edition, and is also going to power electronics startup Plastic Logic's forthcoming ereader device.
Indeed, AT&T's GSM-based network--a standard that covers more of the world than Sprint's CDMA network technology--appears to be a draw for companies with international ambitions. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview with Wired that it makes sense for users to spend $20 more to get international Kindle functionality, exclaiming, "I would!"
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