Friday, February 20, 2009

Why No Kindle in Canada

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The Tivo revolutionized watching television just like some say now that the Kindle e-book reader is revolutionizing how people read books. Just like how the Tivo gave people the ability to watch what they want when they want, the Kindle allow people to read what they want when they want. The commonalities don't stop there. The Tivo took years getting into the market in Canada, and it looks like the same thing is happening again with the Kindle.

Tivo gave a lame excuse for not coming to the Great White North (Canada isn't our business plans). Amazon is giving just as a lame an excuse for not bringing the Kindle to Canada. Amazon claims that the wireless technology used to distribute e-books isn't available in Canada. This is factually wrong because EV-DO is available in Canada although the coverage is spotty.

In the States, Amazon uses the Sprint EV-DO network to distribute content to the Kindle. The coverage issue in Canada is that there are many EV-DO carriers in Canada but none of them are truly national. It would be at the very least counterproductive for Amazon to have to make agreements with Telus, Bell, and the other regional carriers. This maybe an issue but not a barrier since Telus has roaming agreements with the other CDMA, EV-DO carriers and sells service across Canada.

The bigger reason for the delay for getting the Kindle in Canada is probably because of resistance from the publishing industry. Resistance from Canadian television rights holders is what held up Tivo's entrance to Canada. The Canadian publishing industry is completely independent and unlike the Canadian television industry isn't dependent on American content.

It took nothing less than Canadians hacking imported Tivo boxes to jumpstart an agreement with the Canadian television broadcasters that allowed Tivo to enter the Canadian market. Would Canadians have to hack the Kindle to get Amazon to talk to Canadian publishers? Does this mean another 5-7 years of waiting before Canadians can read using a Kindle?

1 comment:

Andrei Pushkin said...

It’s possible that Kindle will still make it to Canada this year - http://blogkindle.com/2009/10/international-kindle-may-come-to-canada-and-new-zealand-soon/

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