International Kindle Faces Biggest Challenge: No Web Access Outside of US

Ryan Whitwam

Amazon has finally obliged globetrotting fans of its Kindle ebook reader by releasing an international GSM version. The new international edition is tied to AT&T 3G service in the US and will cost you $280, that’s $20 more than the standard Sprint Whispernet equipped Kindle. One thing that Amazon didn’t mention though, is that when used outside the US, some wireless features will be blocked .

While Europe, for example, has solid GSM coverage, the international Kindle won’t allow access to blogs or the experimental web browser. This is almost certainly being done to protect Amazon from huge data charges. No word yet on if Amazon will attempt to work out arrangements with foreign cell carriers in the future.

While using the e-ink display for actual web browsing may be rare, checking blogs on the device is more common. Users should still be able to access the ebook store, which is, admittedly, the main reason for having the device. So, is this a deal breaker for anyone? Do you really need full web access on the Kindle while overseas?

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