New Kindle is 45 percent more expensive in the UK

Posted on by Mike Evans

Although overshadowed by the Kindle Fire and the two new touchscreen Kindles, the tiny and light Kindle, new edition, is an interesting beast. It loses the dreadful easy-to-press-by-mistake keyboard, is a third lighter and 18 percent smaller. According to a picture on the Amazon site, it fits into a back jeans pocket. Impressive, but I wouldn’t risk it.

I have had a trawl through the user guide because I couldn’t understand how it could have no touchscreen, no keyboard and still function for buying books and tasks such as entering wifi access codes. The answer is an on-screen keyboard which is navigated by the five-way controller, Apple TV style. It will be infuriating, but then I never had much use for the Kindle keyboard and cursed it roundly on many occasions when that exposed back key was pressed my mistake.

As a simple, light, uncomplicated reader, the new Kindle is a very attractive proposition. It’s a pity, though, that British buyers have to pay 45 percent more than Amazon’s American customers. If we deduct our 20 percent VAT, the base price of the Kindle in the UK (£74) is over £23 more than the $79 charged in the US. If we had equal rights, the tax-inclusive price in the UK should be no more than £61.

Why should this device be 45 percent more expensive in Britain? Maybe Amazon think we are a soft touch and will pay more than the discerning US consumer. Or is the cost of doing business in the UK that much more expensive.

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