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Kindle Fire, Touch not available to Europe: Blame U.S. legal concerns?

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet and Touch e-reader will not be coming to the UK market, after Amazon.co.uk confirms.

Amazon revealed its four new tablets to compete with other major players in the market yesterday.

But amid the excitement amongst consumers and fierce tension amongst tablet manufacturers, Amazon buried the news that two of the new tablets would only be available in the U.S. market -- leaving the UK and European markets out in the cold.

The new Amazon Kindle Touch, the touch-screen e-ink powered e-book reader (left), along with new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet (right), the 7-inch colour display, Android-powered tablet, will only be available in the United States when the two devices go on sale.

It is believed, however that the new Kindle will still go on sale outside of the U.S., at a cost of £89.

Amazon did not respond for comment at the time of publication.

UK customers will no doubt be disappointed, looking forward to the streaming services and advanced models -- a market which has yet to break away from the traditional computer into the tablet space. While iPad sales are doing well, compared to other European markets and the United States, the UK is still behind.

Update: In reflection, it may be due to U.S. cloud and legal concerns regarding the Silk browser, as documented by colleague Steven J. Vaughan-Nicols. In short, the tablets cannot be sold in the European market because the cloud-based browser would be in breach of European data protection laws. Though data would reside in an EU-based datacenter, because Amazon is a U.S. headquartered company, the data would still be vulnerable to U.S. law.

The UK student market alone accounts for around 2.5 million students, which would have been a surprisingly easy target for Amazon to pitch its new tablets at. Considering e-readers, particularly the Kindle, have been popular amongst campus bookstore goers, Amazon could take a hit from not plugging the European market with the upcoming tablets.

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