10/9/2009 3:57:00 PM
AT&T to deliver Amazon ‘Kindle’ in UK, say sources
Amazon has ditched plans to hook up with a UK operator to deliver its ‘Kindle’ ebook reader, say sources. Instead the company has forged an international roaming deal with US operator AT&T which will allow Kindle ebook readers to roam into any network in the UK, sources claim.
The Kindle is due to be launched in the UK on October 19. It will be sold via Amazon.com, which is already taking orders. The Kindle will retail for $279 and comes with a 6-inch display and the ability to wirelessly download books and other content.
The international launch of the Kindle ebook spearheads Amazon’s plan to corner the ebook market in the face of competition from Apple and Google.
A source told Mobile: ‘Amazon is making a wholesale deal with AT&T which will allow users to roam on any network in the UK, with Amazon picking up the cost.’
He added: ‘It appears Amazon has decided the deal with AT&T is the least line of resistance, compared to 100 separate international deals.’
Ebook sales are expected to soar. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently said that, of books available in both electronic and paper version, 48% of copies sold by Amazon were Kindle versions. This latest figure reveals a 13% rise since early 2009.
Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight said: ‘If Amazon decides to do this deal, it could bring an innovation to the UK market users whereby could have high access to multiple networks. ‘
He added: ‘Amazon may have decided that, rather than take on the cost of striking individual deals, it is better to swallow the cost of AT&T roaming charges. As it is, AT&T has such purchasing power that those charges may not be such an incremental cost.’
Amazon.co.uk confirmed this week that wireless delivery is included in the price of the book for international customers and that there will be no additional fees.