How Does the Kindle Work in Canada?

How Does the Kindle Work in Canada?

Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader is one of the most popular new gadgets this decade. The first group of Kindles sold out within hours and was out of stock for months.

Despite their popularity, the original Kindle had a major flaw — it was available only in the United States. International customers were out of luck.

The Basics

In October of 2009, Amazon released the international version of the Kindle 2. The Kindle 2 is an improvement on the original Kindle for many reasons, the most relevant to those outisde of the USA is that it works on a different mobile wireless platform. The Kindle 2 can use popular platforms like GSM, EDGE, 3G, and other networks that allows Kindle access to over 100 countries.

But how does the Kindle work in Canada? Is it the same experience as the American version? What about the type and number of books available for purchase?

Pros

Canadians will find they receive the same quick download times (about 60 seconds for an average download) as Kindle users in America. Access to 3G, EDGE, and GPRS networks is free, with no contract required and no additional fees. Unlike the original Kindle, there’s no need to rely on spotty and hard-to-find Wi-Fi networks.

About the download library — complex laws that control Amazon’s ability to publish eBooks mean that there are fewer titles available for the Kindle in Canada than in the United States. However, Canadian users still have a library of over 330,000 titles available for download. Amazon says they are working with publishers to add more every day.

Your Kindle 2 device will ship with a United States power adapter. These adapters support 100V to 240V outlets. If you wish, you can charge the device with the included USB cable via your computer. This same USB cable can be used to transfer personal documents to your Kindle from your computer. Unlike in America, wireless transfer of these documents is currently not available in Canada. Access to blogs and other websites is not available on the Kindle in Canada, although your device will have free access to Wikipedia.

Cons

One downside for Canadian customers is download price — Kindle prices in Canada are slightly higher than in the United States. This means that New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases will run you $11.99, and many titles cost less than that. Amazon advertises that 115,000 titles available in Canada cost under $5.99 for the download. Yes, these are US Dollar prices — all Kindle prices are given in the good old greenback — so those New York Times Bestsellers are about $12.46 in Canadian dollars, and the cheapest books on the Kindle will run you $6.22.

Canadian Kindle 2 users report a shipping issue that is a bit bothersome — sending the Kindle device internationally makes the device subject to customs and import taxes, which Amazon.com lists for you when you order the Kindle at their website. A bit of good news for Canadians — the Kindle’s 1-year warranty still applies in Canada.

The Kindle 2 opened up a whole new market for Amazon — international customers. Canadians can jump on the Kindle bandwagon and enjoy basically the same functionality as their neighbors to the south.

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This post is part of a series of posts we’ve made about Amazon’s Kindle technology. Other posts include: