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Photos: Amazon's Kindle comes to the UK

E-reader for newspapers and books arriving in Blighty - finally
By Sophie Curtis, Contributor
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1 of 6 Sophie Curtis/ZDNET

E-reader for newspapers and books arriving in Blighty - finally

Amazon is preparing to launch its Kindle e-book reader in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the UK. This is the first time the device has been available outside of the US, where it launched in November 2007.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

2 of 6 Sophie Curtis/ZDNET

The Kindle unit is about the same size as a large book but only a third of an inch thick, making it lighter than a typical paperback. Users can download books, magazines, newspapers and personal documents for reading on the go, and can choose from six different text sizes. Some media companies are hoping the device will allow them to generate new revenue streams by charging consumers for subscriptions.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

3 of 6 Sophie Curtis/ZDNET

The device also has a Qwerty keyboard, allowing users to annotate the text, highlight and clip key passages and bookmark pages for future use. The UK version of the e-reader will operate using 3G mobile technology, allowing users to shop for titles in the Kindle Store and download them directly to the device.

There is no contract, and users do not have to sync with a PC or find a wi-fi connection to access the store. Amazon claims that individual books can be downloaded to the Kindle in less than 60 seconds. The device has 2GB of memory, holding up to 1,500 books.

The Kindle offers UK users access to more than 200,000 English-language digital books from publishers including Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, and Penguin. Best-selling books will start from $11.99 - $2 more than in the US.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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Other book titles will sell at a starting price of $5.99. Amazon also offers a selection of newspapers, including The Times (seen above).

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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Other papers offered include The Daily Telegraph (above)...

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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...and The Independent and Daily Mail (above), either for single purchase or subscription.

Research group Forrester recently predicted that sales of e-readers in the US would hit three million this year, up from an earlier forecast of two million. It estimates Amazon will account for 60 per cent of market share, followed by Sony with 35 per cent.

The Kindle is currently available for pre-order for $279 via Amazon's US website. The company will begin shipping on 19 October. Amazon also hopes to eventually start selling the e-reader via its UK site.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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