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Amazon unzips its digital-only Brazilian, waves Kindles at Canada

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Amazon has entered the Brazilian market by launching Amazon.com.br - but it will just sell Kindles and ebooks to see if a digital-only operation can sink or swim.

Shortly after its midnight launch, the website was spotted by sharp-eyed tweeters before any announcement was made. Even before the official press notification machine was nudged into action, traffic to the newly launched site surpassed Amazon's internal estimates, The Register understands.

This is the first market entry by Amazon where there is no physical retail operation in the country: Amazon Brazil is an entirely digital offering, selling only Kindles and ebooks. However, Amazon is not selling its tablets directly - it has partnered with local booksellers.

While Amazon staff working on the project view the event as a rousing success, it hasn't been without its setbacks. The Kindle itself was originally slated to go on sale today, however the units were held up in customs. Amazon Brazil will have to make do with app sales through the holiday season.

The Brazilian operation is a trial run. If successful Amazon will have created a template from which to begin selling in new markets as a digital-only operation, decoupling the launch of Kindle variants and associated ebooks from the business of setting up and running physical warehouses and distribution centres in a country.

The Brazilian web launch is far from Amazon's only planned holiday announcement: The Register has learned that Kindles are soon to be made available through Amazon.ca, allowing Canadian customers to bypass the hassle of buying the units across the border through Amazon.com. More announcements for next week are being hinted at, we'll know more soon. ®

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