Amazon Kindle Touch Starts Shipping In UK

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Kindle Touch is seven days early, but Amazon wants 70 percent more for it in the UK

Amazon has begun shipping its new Kindle Touch e-reader worldwide on Saturday, seven days earlier than previously announced.  Six months after launch in the US, it will now be available in 175 countries and territories – though it has an eye-watering markup in the UK .

The device adds a multi-touch screen to the successful formula established by earlier models of Kindle. There are two versions of the Kindle Touch: Wi-Fi and 3G, priced at £109 and £169 respectively. The more expensive version provides completely free 3G wireless access for life. The company has called its offering “the most full-featured e-reader available”.

Yet the pricing of the devices might be an issue, since the cost is 60-70 percent higher than in the US. And there is still no UK delivery date for the  Amazon Kindle Fire, an Android tablet which sells for $199 in the US.

Touching words

Amazon has claimed Kindle Touch uses “the most advanced electronic ink display” ever, which reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight. It is 6″ big, and capable of 600 x 800 pixel resolution.

The device is lighter and smaller than previous generation e-readers, with the heavier of the two models weighing just 220 grams. The parent company claims Kindle Touch can run for two months from a single charge, even when being used every day. Approximately 3 GB of on-board memory is enough to hold up to 3,000 books, and Amazon e-book store provides access to over one million titles.

Especially for Kindle Touch, Amazon has invented the “X-Ray” – a new feature that lets customers explore the background information relevant to the book. With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopaedia for book lovers.

“Orders from customers worldwide for our new line of electronic ink Kindles have exceeded our expectations,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president at Kindle EU.

“The new Kindle Touch is a great product; Amazon’s EasyReach touch technology makes it a lot easier to turn pages and search for books. The multi-touch screen also makes it convenient to read books with one hand – perfect for crowded tube journeys,” commented Mark Slater, Category Director at Dixons Retail.

“It is so simple to use and sells for a fantastic, competitive price, so we’re sure the Kindle Touch will be a popular choice for e-reader fans,” he added.

However, it is the price that can become a sore point for many users. The Daily Mail  has uncovered that in the UK, Kindle Touch 3G is priced 72 percent higher than the US. On the other side of the Atlantic, the basic model costs just $99.99 (£65.72), and 3G – $149.99 (£98.05). Amazon claimed the prices were cheaper in the US because of various retail subsidies.

The new e-reader can be purchased at Amazon website and UK retailers including John Lewis, Dixons, Argos, Carphone Warehouse, Staples and Tesco. Currys and PC World currently offer a free £10 voucher when buying any Kindle Touch.

Amazon has yet to announce a release date for its colour Kindle Fire entertainment tablet. It has been available in the US since November last year.

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