The Kindle Web-browser expanded to 52 more countries?

It looks as if Jay Marine, director of product management for Kindle, was serious when he was reported to have said that Amazon does intend to enable its experimental browser in every countryAmazon

I had wondered when I read posts from Kindle-owners in other countries that their Kindles were suddenly enabled to use the Experimental Web browser, if that was because in setting up the new software update, they may have inadvertently enabled the web browser for other countries other than the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico?

This happened with Canada the first few days when the Kindles were sold there.
But the country-specific features-information at the time for Canada at the Kindle International product page did show Canada not enabled for the web-browser.

I noticed that at Slashgear the U.K. writer says:

‘…we’ve also just tested the web browser on our Kindle in the UK – which previously was restricted to viewing Wikipedia – and it seems Amazon has unlocked the 3G connection so that you can now view any site. ‘

Today, there are about 52 more countries with product-page feature descriptions which no longer list them as not having the web-browser disabled for Kindles bought for use in those countries — only blogs are disabled, as it’s been for the International Kindles all along.

The wording for countries with the web browser disabled tends to be:
Blogs, social networking features, and the experimental web browser are currently not available for your country. You will have free access to Wikipedia if wireless is available.
(The ‘social networking features’ are new and that feature isn’t often mentioned for the possibly affected countries.)

I would appreciate any corrections from people who know more, for any of the 56 countries/areas listed on the the preliminary countries listing pending confirmation by Amazon and let me know any I may have missed.

Among the 56 countries seemingly now enabled to use the web browser are Canada, the UK, and Italy.

Along with the web-browser feature, some European customers are reporting that some books that are free to U.S. residents are now also free to them rather than ~$2.00 as they have been.
AGAIN, Amazon has not confirmed ANY of this and it may all be the result of a system glitch on their country product-pages for all I know.

Editor’s note:  the above is reprinted, with permission, from Andrys Basten’s Kindle World blog.  PB


  1. Well when I received my Kindle DX in March this year, I was quite disappointed that I could not use the web browser and had to pay more for books here in Germany, even if I would just download them to my PC and later on sync them to my Kindle.

    So I opened a new Amazon account with an US address and registered the Kindle to that address – voila – full web access no penalty fees for living in the wrong country 😉

    You won’t use the browser much anyway but it’s sufficient for using Google reader or expanding your Kindle memory with Google docs.

  2. As far as I can see from Toronto, the experimental browsing has been free since mid-May. I’ve been able to get to lots of sites, not just Wikipedia, using local carrier 3G for free. More recently, call it June 1, the $2 Whispernet charge has been dropped for free titles including free mainstream stuff.

    What I do NOT see is a lowering of the $2 Whispernet charge on anything costing more than 1¢. Example: Lisa Gardner’s 79¢ Hide is $2.79 in Canada.

    Breaking News: ok, that title is now 77¢ and I see some of my favourites from Rex Stout — newer releases — appear to have lost the $2 but some older releases still have it. Murder by the Book, released in May 12, is $11.99; A Right To Die, released May 26, is $6.29. Or Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin is $10.17 instead of $2 higher. But Rule of Nine by Steve Martini is $11.99. *sigh*

  3. Alexander, it must be a bear to coordinate all the changes. My current listing is of 58 additional countries enabled, with 6 of them listed on their official Amazon product pages as NOT getting the full web access, but people are getting it from those countries and most of it coincides with the software v2.5.x update.

    It makes sense, as their marketing of the new features of the update include sending, via 3G access, at no added cost, your current passage of interest from a book onto Facebook or Twitter. It’s very fast, unlike its browser :-), which I do use for lookups very often when out.

    I certainly don’t do any surfing or crawling with it. But they are said to have had job openings for a specialist to work on an easily more-effective web browser and if it’s good, people will stay on longer and use more bandwidth and I suppose eventually they might go to lower-cost tiered plans.

    However, they’re a very long way off from that.

    All this time (Oct ’09), they’ve provided Wikipedia access from your book, at no added charge *globally* — so, that was quite a feature but hardly ever mentioned in news columns.

    I guess they’ve not updated the product pages for those 6 sites I mentioned yet. This is quite something, globally, as we know wireless costs tend to be very high in many places abroad and none of the other ereader vendors have attempted anything like it that I’ve read about.

    For best experience with very basic web look-ups on the Kindle, I do have some tips at along with a downloadable file of links to mobile-device-optimized websites.

    Yes, Amazon’s pretty flexible on the U.S. address thing and on sharing of books on up to 6 Kindle-compatible devices, when people are trusted to be under a friend’s account (where they can buy with the account-owner’s buying rights and see all of the friend’s books) to share a book and then go independent again.

    To buy a book as a U.S. resident, you’d normally have to have a U.S. credit card on file with Amazon.
    What some do is use a secondary membership to buy gift certificates which can be bought with int’l credit cards and gift them to the main account, using the main account to do the book-buying with the certificates.

    There are SOME penalties in being a U.S. resident customer in that if you were downloading Kindle periodicals while in Germany or anywhere “abroad,” they could cost you $5/week additional if you had them downloaded direct to the Kindle. As a U.S. resident you’d probably get the images as well, though.
    You could choose, though, to get these via computer and move them to the Kindle, to avoid the added charge.

    I think you probably don’t subscribe to periodicals though? The cost of subscriptions “from” Europe is rather high but they’d cost less when you live in the U.S.

    I imagine their operating costs are pretty high when doing all these things globally with a myriad of inane rules involved with digital media and of course the 3G wireless costs everywhere.

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