Amazon stops selling Sprint-powered Kindles

SAN FRANCISCO--At the Open Mobile Summit here yesterday Amazon Kindle Director Russell Baker confirmed that the company is no longer selling the Sprint Nextel-powered Kindle. Though Amazon will support those Sprint-powered devices already in service, the company plans to focus its efforts on its GSM-based Kindle ereader that uses the AT&T network and is able to roam internationally. However, Amazon is still selling the Kindle DX that uses Sprint's network.

Russell said that Amazon decided it was too confusing to consumers to sell one version of the Kindle that can be used internationally and one version that can't (Sprint's network uses CDMA technology, while AT&T's uses the much more widespread GSM technology). He added that the company values Sprint as a partner and hopes to work with the carrier again on other, future devices.

When asked whether Amazon would consider having Kindle devices use the Qualcomm Gobi chipset that allows users to switch seamlessly between 3G networks around the world, including GSM, EDGE, HSPA, HSDPA and EV-DO, Baker said that Amazon had considered the Gobi chipset. However, he said that when the Kindle was in its development stage, the Gobi chip was primarily being made for netbooks and laptops. He added that Amazon may use Gobi in the future.

Amazon's decision to drop the CDMA Kindle is a blow to Sprint, which in the first quarter of the year touted its sales of the Amazon Kindle ereader device as driving the majority of its 394,000 wholesale additions.

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Article updated Nov. 5 to correct information about the Kindle DX.