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Amazon UK downplays Kindle Christmas

E-Book may come here next year

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If you ask for an e-book this Christmas, don’t be disappointed if you get a paperback instead. Because it seems that Amazon is unlikely to launch its Kindle over here this year.

The online retail giant’s UK managing director, Brian McBride, recently told trade publication The Bookseller that the e-book reader is more likely to launch into Europe next year.

Although Kindle’s been available in the US since November 2007, McBride hinted that the machine’s European launch has been delayed by the number of wireless operators throughout Europe.

“If you buy a Kindle in the UK and want to read it on the beach on holiday in Spain, unless we have signed deals in Spain it's not going to work on that beach,” McBride said.

By contrast, Kindle only works over a service called Whispernet in the US, which uses the EvDO 3G service provided by network operator Sprint.

Amazon may not be in a hurry to launch Kindle over here in any case, because McBride added that Kindle’s European launch will help Amazon build “long-term business growth routes in the UK”.

Several manufacturers have already launched e-books in the UK, including Sony, which recently released the PRS-505 over here.

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