Now that consumers can finally get a Kindle in Australia, it's important to learn more about it before you decide to buy a Kindle International from Amazon.com for $139 USD. There are a number of differences in wireless service and ebook selection available outside the US. Fortunately, Kindle Australia users have one of the best setups of any of the 170 countries, especially as far as pricing goes.
Also, if you want to read about the specifics of the actual device and how it works, go to the Kindle 3 Review for more. The previous US model and the International version are identical devices, with the exception of their wireless modems.
Like the US version, Kindle Australia users have the option to download content directly to the device using the free wireless that connects to Amazon's online store. And if you live somewhere that doesn't have a wireless signal, or if it's your preference, you can always download content to your computer and then transfer it to the device with a USB cable.
While Amazon offers a wide selection of titles, it's important to understand that a Kindle is a closed content device. You can't purchase ebooks from other major online sellers like with Sony Readers, with a few exceptions. Picking up the free wireless service, Amazon wants you to download books from them exclusively.
However, you can find a number of websites that have free, non-DRM protected ebooks that will work on your Kindle International just fine. Project Gutenberg Australia is one example of a local website. For a comprehensive listing of content—ebooks, newspapers, and magazines—visit our dedicated Kindle eBooks Page.
Free 3G Wireless Downloads
The free wireless gives users in Australia access to Kindle's online store 24 hours a day. There are no monthly charges or hidden wireless fees. In addition, Kindle International users outside the US can access Wikipedia with the free wireless, and free internet is a possibility in the near future.
Kindle Australia Wireless Coverage Map
Total Cost of Kindle in Australian DollarsFor now, Amazon is requiring all Kindle International orders and ebook purchase to be in US currency. Why? Probably because it's too difficult at this time to accept currency from 170 different countries all at once.
Unlike most other countries, the Kindle International costs considerably less in Australia because you don't have to pay any import/duty fees. After a $21 shipping fee, expect the Kindle to cost a total of about $305 AUD*, and that doesn't include a cover, which costs an extra $33 AUD or so.
One thing to note, the device comes with a USB cable but not a power adapter. It seems there's some sort of Australian law involved that won't allow a US power adapter there, as this is the only country where this applies. The USB cable will charge the battery, and a charge typically lasts two weeks.
*Total cost is an estimate of currency conversion rates and fees.
More Kindle InformationSupported Formats
Free and New eBooks
Kindle 2 Review
If you'd like more information about how the Kindle International works, here's a link to the official Kindle Help and FAQ page.