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Amazon Kindle available in germany

Wow, this was a surprise this morning:

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Of course this is not your standard german product:

  • you have to order at Amazon.com, which will be a hurdle for many consumers (language, credit card required etc.). On the other hand, right now this is something only geeks will order, anyway
  • Taxes on import
  • US keyboard
  • US charger

What’s more interesting, though, is how the Kindle will work in germany. It seems the SIM card to access the mobile network is built-in, so they will most likely have done a roaming agreement with a german mobile operator. Any idea who this is? This will determine the availability of 3G service.

Plus, what about the content? Right now, the available content is US focussed (magazines, newspapers etc.). In the past, electronic versions of US books could not easily be sold in germany, as the german publishers saw their distribution rights violated. Will this circumvent the issue? Will publishers sue? Will competitors (Sony) sue?

What about my Amazon account – right now, even though I can order from the US, there are minor differences in what I can or can’t do, and my address data will be replicated to the US system with weird changes (we don’t have states, and the umlauts will be translated into strange characters).
Will I suddenly be able to get stuff through the kindle that I would be stopped from ordering otherwise?

So, not only will we get a cool gadget, but this is much more interesting DRM and content wise. This might be the start of quite some controversy, hope Amazon will not have to pull books again ;)

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