Evidently determined to prove that Barnes and Noble isn’t the only digital bookseller that can expand to new territories this week, why should it be?, Amazon is taking the Kindle to India. Hear that Barnes and Noble? That’s the second most highly populated country in the world – 1,241,491,960 people at last count, second only to China. ‘Suddenly getting a foot in the door of a market with a population of 62,641,000 doesn’t seem quite so great an achievement, does it?’ asked Amazon, as it got Barnes and Noble in a headlock, shoved it face first into the nearest toilet and encouraged it to ‘drink it up!’ as it hit flush.
Anyway, as of this week, there is an Indian Kindle store on Amazon.com (accessible only from India, it appears – clicking the purported link to the Indian store takes us to the standard Amazon.com Kindle store, with prices in American dollars). It was only a matter of time, really, given the massive growth of the Indian market over the past year or so, even if most of that still seems to have come from print. Obviously, Amazon is banking on making significant inroads in that latter regard, hoping to tempt away print devotees with what it calls ‘the largest selection, including the most bestsellers, and lowest prices of any e-bookstore in India’.
Kindle hardware is, for the time being, exclusively on sale through Amazon and self-described Indian electronics megastore Croma, priced at 6,999 rupees for the standard model – a figure that, converted to Pounds Sterling, compares favourably with UK pricing, working out at a hair under £80 rather than the £89 charged by Amazon.co.uk. So now the only thing left is to coin the portmanteau we’re using to describe this endeavour. Is Kindlia good with everyone? Let’s go with Kindlia.