Amazon will finally launch its Kindle e-Book reader in the UK, possibly as early as this month.
The leading publishing trade magazine, The Bookseller, has reported that the much-anticipated device will hit British shelves as early as October, with an announcement expected as early as next week.
An Amazon.com source said: “The key things they needed to tie up have been tied up. The rumours I’ve heard are all saying next week.”
Other sources said that Amazon were “gathering a head of steam for launch” this month.
The move has long been expected, as Amazon have said they wanted to launch the e-book reader internationally, although the company has never committed to specific launch dates. Industry experts said the delay was due to the Kindles Whispernet wireless download system. The system, that allows users to download e-books directly onto their Kindle, has proven to be a technical problem in Europe. The issue of the machine incurring international roaming charges was also thought to be an issue.
However, it is believed that Qualcomm, the wireless development company that provides the Whispernet system, have now worked out a solution to allow the system to work in the UK.
The Kindle has proved a hit in the US. Amazon expects to sell a million of the devices in 2009. According to the Association of American Publishers, eBook sales in July were up 213 per cent compared with July last year.
Kindle owners are able to download content such as e-books from the Amazon website, as well as loading content from their own computers onto the device.