Amazon Introduces Global Kindle -- Just $20 More Than US Version To Roam Internationally

Just when you thought Amazon may be falling behind in the e-reader race, this happens. The Kindle, which is widely viewed as the #1 e-book reader here in the USA, is finally making its international debut. If you'll recall, the Kindle has always relied on Sprint's EV-DO network to give owners wireless access to digital content wherever they are, but of course, the CDMA radio won't function in most overseas nations.

In order to remedy that, Amazon has teamed with AT&T in order to sell a GSM-ready version of the device, one that's capable of downloading books in over 100 nations. Amazingly, it seems as if the roaming fees are included; if you buy an International Kindle, you can download books in over 100 supported countries just as you would in your homeland, all with no extra cost.

The Kindle U.S. & International Wireless version will otherwise remain exactly the same as the U.S. Wireless version, though pricing took a nice step down. The U.S. Kindle is now priced at just $259, down from $299 earlier in the week; the Global Kindle will sell for $279, which represents a $20 premium over the USA-bound edition. If you even think you'll travel overseas, and you're looking to buy a Kindle, the extra $20 is a sound investment. It'll give you the ability to download new material while sitting on a beach in Aruba--who can complain with that?

“Kindle has revolutionized the way we purchase and read books, by making it mobile, easy and intuitive,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T.  “We are excited to work with Amazon to help readers access books even faster and from significantly more places than ever before, including more than 100 countries and territories around the world through AT&T’s global wireless coverage.”

The U.S. Kindle Store ( now has more than 350,000 books, including New Releases and 104 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers, which are typically $9.99 or less.  More than 75,000 books have been added to the U.S. Kindle Store in just the last five months.  Starting today, Lonely Planet guides are now available in the Kindle Store, joining existing travel guide selection from publishers Rick Steves, Frommers and Michelin.