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Amazon Kindle sells out ahead of UK launch, bibliophiles freak out

The third-generation Amazon Kindle is shipping today, but if you suddenly get a hankering for some eInk goodness you'll have to wait until mid-September, because it's sold out.

The third-generation Amazon Kindle is shipping today, but if you suddenly get a hankering for some eInk goodness you'll have to wait until mid-September, because the new ebook reader is sold out.

"Due to strong customer demand, Kindle is temporarily sold out," says Amazon UK. "Order now to reserve your place in the queue. Orders are prioritised on a first-come, first-served basis. Orders placed today are expected to dispatch on or before September 17," .

It's no good hopping across the pond for your Kindlin' either, as the device has also sold out in the US.

Amazon isn't saying how many devices "sold out" equates to, possibly so that its sales figures won't be compared to the iPad. Despite not being a dedicated ebook reader, the Apple tablet's ebook function means it's often compared to the Kindle -- and Apple isn't so coy.

Though refusing to play the numbers game, Amazon has boasted that its new ebook reader is the best-selling product on Amazon.com for the past two years.

The Kindle's new-found popularity is down to a significant price drop and the introduction of a Wi-Fi only model. In the UK, its 3G connectivity, which means you can buy a book anywhere in the world and read it straight away, is being provided by British network Vodafone rather than US provider AT&T.

This means no more costly roaming charges for Amazon, which forced it to remove Web browsing in the international version of the previous Kindle model, and allow 3G use only for downloading ebooks. The third-generation model now has "experimental" Web browsing on all models, regardless of country.

We'll have a full review of the new Kindle as soon as is humanly possible.