Amazon announced yesterday that its Kindle e-book reader would now be available in an international edition, the price has also been dropped to (US$259) and it would ship to 100 countries.
Sadly, Malaysia is not one of them (neither are Canada, New Zealand, and the countries in this region).
I got a bit humphy I'm afraid, especially as I was watching all the excited booklovers jumping up and down for joy on Twitter, where this quickly became a trending topic. I felt left out. I felt hurt and neglected. I came face to face with the realisation of how much I want this bloody device!
I shot off an email to Amazon to ask why we weren't included, wondering whether it was (as Eyeris and Umapagan had tweeted back to me, because Malaysians don't read enough!) or was it an issue with licensing.
I was pleasantly surprised when I got a reply an hour or so later from Amazon spokesperson Cinthia Portugal herself, telling me :
We want to ship Kindle everywhere and we’re working hard on it, but at this time we are not able to ship to Malaysia. ... This is an audacious first step, and we will continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and expand our offerings – we know that there will be other steps, but we’re happy with where we are starting and we think our customers will be too.So hopefully, we will be there somewhere in the expansion plans. I thought it was interesting too that Amazon seems to be doing a better job with its corporate communications than it did when the Homozone.com scandal came to light.
By the way, it seems there is a workaround solution for those desperate enough : one Singaporean customer at Amazon.com notes:
the wireless doesnt work outside of the USA - you can still buy books using your amazon account online and then download them to your PC and upload them via a cable to your kindle- not exactly instantaneous - but much easier (and cheaper) than slugging it down to orchard to Kino or Borders! Kindle rocks.