Amazon takes the Kindle global as e-readers soar

Device goes on sale in UK for first time but downloads to cost more than in US

Amazon is bringing its bestselling Kindle device to the UK for the first time, in a move set to herald 2010 as "the year of the e-reader".

The internet retailer has announced that it is to bring the Kindle, its "most wished for, most gifted and number one bestselling product" to customers around the world.

The Kindle, which has only been available in the US since its launch two years ago, allows readers to download books, magazines and newspapers and "looks and reads like real paper".

Allen Weiner, research vice president at Gartner, said: "The e-reader market is fast growing and will really take off in 2010." He added: "Amazon has made the Kindle international as it was hearing the heavy footsteps of competition." Competitors include the Sony Reader, IRex, COOL-ER and possibly the rumoured Apple "tablet".

Amazon will start shipping the devices to 100 countries around the world from the US on 19 October. It will cost $279 (£175) in the UK. The Kindle Store has 200,000 English language books available from publishers including Bloomsbury and Penguin.

The device has proved staggeringly successful in the US. Amazon does not reveal the number of devices sold, but its chief executive Jeff Bezos said 48 per cent of books available in both formats were downloaded electronically. According to the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales in the US were up 149 per cent for the year to June, and account for $14m in sales a month. John Makinson, chief executive of Penguin, said: "The publishing industry is experiencing explosive growth in digital book sales in the US, and we hope to stimulate digital buying elsewhere by making our content widely available on new devices."

Analysts are bullish over the industry's prospects. Three million e-readers will be sold in the US this year, with the Kindle taking a 60 per cent market share and the Sony Reader 35 per cent, according to Sarah Rotman Epps of Forrester. "We expect sales in 2010 to double, bringing cumulative sales of e-readers to 10 million by year end," she said. Mr Weiner said 2010 would be "the year of the e-reader". Yet, he said the format still had issues. "The price will put some people off, and the war between the formats still has to be played out. It won't be a straight line to success."

Amazon is shipping the devices with wireless technology provided by AT&T, although it doesn't have an exclusive deal with a UK operator. Insiders expect the books to be slightly more expensive than in the US to cover download costs as a result. One telecoms insider said: "It is slightly messy that there is no carrier in place, but they probably wanted to rush it out in time for the Christmas market."

Read all about it: Kindle to save papers?

The e-reader has been mooted as one of the potential saviours of the newspaper industry, whose revenues have slumped from the collapse of advertising revenue. Early movers have already signed e-reader deals. Amazon said yesterday it offers 85 global newspapers and magazines on a single purchase basis or subscription.

Titles include The Independent, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation, said earlier this year he was looking at e-readers and rumours have circulated that he may be in talks with electronics groups over potentially launching one of his own. Allen Weiner, analyst at Gartner, said: "The problem is newspapers do not work well on the e-reader, and it will probably a year before they do. Papers aren't like books; they aren't linear. They aren't great for a black and white device with limited search capabilities."

Yet with the growth of the e-paper market expected to rise to $9bn from $100m in less than a decade, according to DisplaySearch, newspapers will continue to look at the format. The technology is becoming bigger in the UK. Neil Jones, chief executive of Interead, which makes COOL-ER e-readers, said the arrival of the Kindle in the UK "will have a positive effect in increasing the general consumer awareness of the e-book technology".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
fashion
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The Bounceway, designed by Architecture for Humanity
newsLondon to add 'The Bounceway' to commuting options
Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Life and Style
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
tech
Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development - Telecommunications - £50,000 OTE

£25000 per annum + £50,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Southend, Al...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital