Today, Amazon.com announced the availability of a Spanish Language (and Italian Language) Kindle, for 99 EUR.
Based out of Amazon's new Kindle Spain e-store, the product has been localized for the Spanish market and has 21,000 titles in Castilian and selected titles in Catalan, Gallego and Euskara (Basque) in addition to over 900,000 titles in English.
Amazon has similarly launched an Italian Kindle portal and device as well.
While a device sold only in Spain may not be of immediate interest to US consumers, the immediate availability of Spanish e-book titles should, considering that over 35 million people speak it in the United States as their primary language and it is the second most popular language spoken in this country next to English.
Over 100 million people in Mexico, our neighbor to the South also speak it as their primary language.
Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household (my mother has a masters degree in it and teaches college level in Florida) and as a fluent Spanish speaker myself, I find this encouraging for not only for the avaliablity of classic and modern Spanish literature in electronic format but also for the use of the Kindle as an educational tool for learning the language itself.
For Amazon, the Hispanic and Latino e-book market in North America until now has been a huge untapped resource.
EDIT: According to Amazon, the new 4th Generation Kindle sold in the United States for $79 has the ability to switch to a localized Spanish UI. To buy Kindle books in Spanish in the United States, one only has to go to the US Kindle store and change the search parameters.
With the launch of the Spanish Kindle, I expect that there will be a lot more titles available in that language shortly, and hopefully a software update for older generation US Kindles to allow Amazon customers set the user interface to Spanish as well.
Perhaps we can look forward to Salvador Dali or Picasso-themed Kindle cases soon? Or even a Kindle Fuego?
Are you excited about Kindle books in Spanish? Talk Back and Let Me Know.