Amazon.com will start shipping an international version of its Kindle e-book reader Monday to 100 countries, but not Canada.

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The Kindle 2 electronic reader is still not available in Canada. ((Associated Press))

The new e-reader will sell for $279 US and will be sold to customers outside of the U.S., in countries such as the U.K., Australia, Japan, India and Germany.

A message on the Amazon.com website reads: "Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in Canada. We are working to make Kindle available to our Canadian customers as soon as possible."

A spokesperson for Amazon refused to say why the device is not being made available in Canada.

The international edition of the Kindle will be able to download content wirelessly over AT&T's international cellphone network. The U.S. version connects to Sprint's network, and international users must connect the reader to a computer via USB to download e-books.

The Kindle will be available in some countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka, without wireless support.

Amazon also cut the cost of the U.S. Kindle to $259. The device, which has a 15-centimetre screen that displays in shades of grey, debuted in 2007 at $399.

Amazon is trying to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded e-reader market. The Kindle currently has 60 per cent of the U.S. market, according to a Forrester Research report, and Sony has 35 per cent.

Sony's Reader is available in Canada, as is its smaller Reader Pocket Edition and its larger touch-screen version. None of them can connect wirelessly, although Sony announced that it would begin selling the Reader Daily Edition in the U.S. in December.

The Daily Edition will connect to the AT&T network. No Canadian launch date has been announced.