Kindle v Reader (round 1)

One of the (few) problems with living in Australia is that it’s a market that the consumer electronics companies scarcely bother with – it’s just not big enough. So it took Apple years to open a local itunes store, and who knows when the iphone will be officially released here. As far as ebooks are concerned, there should be no carrier issues, but there *are* rights issues for the content, and it appears that most of the players couldn’t be bothered with 20 million folk down under.

So, we miss out on the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle. Sure, you can get a mate in the states to fedex one across, but you won’t be able to access amazon kindle content or the Sony connect bookstore. Instead, you’ll have to be content with scouring the net for reading material and converting it into a format that your choice of reader might accept. Fine for a geek, but it doesn’t pass the ‘mum’ test.

Which is a very long-winded way to link to gizmodo’s comparison of the two current top dogs is the e-reading race. Got to admit that the comparison photo makes the kindle look like a people mover compared to the Sony’s svelte sports car. Despite this, the kindle’s device independence seems to have (sort of) won the day:

The extra $100 for the Kindle means freedom from PC—if at the same time it means a shackle to Amazon and its potentially limited file friendliness.

The problem for us Aussies, of course, is that the Kindle’s freedom requires a connection to Sprint USA’s EVDO network – and until Amazon does a similar deal down here, it just won’t work.


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