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Amazon Launches Kindle Service in Argentina

January 6th, 2010 | 06:02 PM

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Amazon KindleAmazon.com said Wednesday it has started selling its famous Kindle e-reader to customers in Argentina.

Amazon will offer 3G wireless download options for Argentine users. On average, Kindle books will cost Argentine customers around US $11.99 per book, Amazon said in a statement. That’s more than the US $9.99 that books typically cost for users in the U.S.

The Kindle Store will offer more than 300,000 books to customers in Argentina. Customers will also be able to access Merriam Webster’s English-Spanish Translation Dictionary to translate words from English into Spanish.

“Customers in Argentina have been asking for the Kindle, and now we’re happy to be able to offer it along with more than 300,000 books, as well as magazines and the best-known newspapers,” Ian Free, Amazon’s Kindle VP, said in a statement. “The Kindle allows customers in Argentina and around the world to think about a book, and start to read it, in less than 60 seconds.”

Among other newspapers, Kindle offers customers the opportunity to download El País (from Spain), O Globo (from Brazil) and, of course, The New York Times, etc.

I’ve been testing the Kindle for over a month now in the U.S. and have found it to be somewhat disappointing. Its user interface seems too basic and limited compared with computers and other devices like the iPhone. But its screen is remarkably clear and much easier on the eyes than are typical computer screens or LCD monitors. Meanwhile, given that it is so hard, and so expensive, to acquire English books, magazines and newspapers in Argentina, the Kindle may be just the right option for serious, serial readers.

However, there is one important caveat. Later this month, Apple will announce its new tablet multimedia device, which will likely go on sale in March. It is almost certain to be far more impressive than the Kindle and will offer video and other features which the comparatively troglodytic Kindle does not. Additionally, other companies are coming out with other e-readers that could make the Kindle look even more rudimentary. Check out the Skiff Reader, for example, here.

To get the Kindle or the Kindle DX (which has a larger, 9.7 inch display), you’ll have to pay around $20 for shipping, as well as Argentine customs taxes and fees (I don’t know how much these will add up to). You can order the Kindle by clicking here and here. Amazon will start shipping to Argentina on Jan. 19.

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