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Amazon takes larger-screen Kindle global

Amazon.com Inc is to sell its larger Kindle electronic reader, aimed at students, businesspeople and newspaper readers, in more than 100 countries for $489 (£305), following the rollout of its original device last year.

Amazon, which introduced the smaller wireless electronic reader last October, said the new Kindle DX would be available for pre-orders now and would ship on 19 January.

Analysts were not immediately convinced when the larger Kindle launched, saying consumers had previously shown a desire for increasingly smaller gadgets and they worried the price would put many off during the tough economic times.

But Amazon, which has not given sales details for the device, says the Kindle DX is designed to be a more friendly vehicle for textbooks and newspapers, which often need a larger space to display their content effectively.

It also allows people to read personal documents and is touted as a way for businesspeople and others to avoid having to carry around an assortment of loose papers.

"On a global basis customers love the 6 inch device and we know in the US that customers are also loving the 9.7 Kindle DX," Ian Freed, Vice President of Amazon Kindle, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The Kindle DX has a 9.7 inch display and has about 2.5 times the surface area of the normal Kindle. The wireless device includes a PDF reader and storage for up to 3,500 books.

Electronic readers, made by a growing number of companies, allow users to read content on a paper-book sized tablet that downloads content digitally. Amazon said in December the Kindle had become the most-purchased gift in the company's history.

The Kindle store offers international customers more than 300,000 English-language books which it says are typically priced less than the physical editions.

The store also offers more than 100 newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Financial Times, The Times and Le Monde either for single purchase or subscription.