Kindle comes to Canada without browser

The Kindle e-book reader is now available to Canadians, announced Tuesday, but without some key features.

The Kindle e-book reader is now available to Canadians, announced Tuesday, but without some key features.

The e-reader sells on for $259 US, plus import fees, which the website says will be about $31 per Kindle.

The e-reader will be able to wirelessly download books, magazines and newspapers over a 3G cellular network called Whispernet on AT&T's global network, Kinley Campbell of said.

Rogers and Telus wouldn't confirm whether they were supplying the device's cellular connectivity in Canada.

"We don't talk about potential products or services before they are officially announced," Rogers spokesperson Odette Coleman said. "Rogers has not made any announcements regarding Kindle."

"For competitive reasons, we can't talk about specific network interconnection agreements with other carriers or specialty service providers such as Amazon," Telus spokesperson A.J. Gratton said.

Bell did not return a request for comment.

The e-reader's web browser and blog subscription service will not work in Canada, according to the description on, but customers will have free access to Wikipedia.

The Kindle can store about 1,500 books in its two gigabytes of memory.

"We know that Canadians are passionate about books and reading, and we're excited to make Kindle available to our customers there," said Ian Freed, vice-president of Kindle, in a statement. "Kindle enables customers around the world including Canada to think of a book and start reading it in under 60 seconds."

The Kindle Store has 300,000 book titles, which Amazon says typically cost $12 or less.

As well, the Globe and Mail and the National Post have joined the list of newspapers and magazines available for purchase through the Kindle Store, with Canwest's major daily newspapers coming later. Users can buy a single copy or a subscription.

Last month, Amazon rolled out the international version of the Kindle to 100 countries, but Canada wasn't included. The device debuted in 2007 in the U.S.

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.

In Canada, Indigo Book & Music has launched an e-book service called Shortcovers that can download books to iPods and smartphones, rather than to a dedicated e-reader.