Kindle comes with free 3G

Mobile broadband data charges are a real bugbear in Australia, which is probably why Amazon has opted to go with free 3G in all Kindles.

Mobile broadband data charges are a real bugbear in Australia, which is probably why Amazon has opted to go with free 3G in all Kindles.

(Credit: Amazon)

Amazon, one of the world's largest online stores, has recently made its ebook reader, the Kindle, available to customers outside of the US. The Kindle stores and reads a small selection of ebook text files and PDFs, and displays the text using a monochromatic display type known as E-Ink. Books available in this format can be bought through Amazon's online store, which can be accessed from a PC or directly through the Kindle using a 3G data connection.

Data associated with downloading a new book is paid for by Amazon, and is included in the purchase price of the Kindle; there are no ongoing contracts associated with buying one. Amazon estimates that customers can download a new book through its store in under 60 seconds, though actual download times would vary depending on signal strength and whether 3G network coverage is available.

The Kindle is available through Amazon's US website for US$259 (AU$279 at the time of writing) and while ebooks vary in price, most bestsellers cost between US$9.99 and US$11.99. There are currently approximately 288,000 ebooks available to Australian Amazon customers.

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