Amazon.com Inc., the biggest Internet retailer, said it’s expanding overseas sales of its larger Kindle electronic reader amid increasing competition from makers of e-readers.
Consumers in more than 100 countries can now pre-order the $489 Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch screen, Seattle-based Amazon.com said today. The 6-inch version of the Kindle has become Amazon.com’s top-selling item in at least 10 countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Australia and Hong Kong, the company said.
Kindle is facing increased competition from e-readers made by Barnes & Noble Inc. and Sony Corp. The Kindle gets about 60 percent of U.S. sales of digital readers, while Tokyo-based Sony has 35 percent, according to research firm Forrester Research Inc. Sales of e-readers will double this year to 6 million units, Forrester estimates.
“Based on the success of the 6-inch global device we would expect the DX to also do well,” Ian Freed, vice president at Amazon.com, said in an interview. “We’ve been extremely pleased with Kindle’s worldwide performance.”
Apple Inc. is planning to introduce a tablet computer that would allow consumers to read content, as well as play music and watch videos, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The DX units will begin shipping by Jan. 19, the company said. Amazon.com began selling the smaller $259 Kindle internationally in October after introducing it in 2007. The company has partnered with AT&T Inc. to allow consumers to download a book, magazine or newspaper in less than a minute.
Annual sales this year from Kindle devices and content will reach $671 million, according to estimates by Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst at Collins Stewart LLC in San Francisco.
“You’re going to see a fundamental shift in how people read,” Mark Mahaney, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “Amazon is at the forefront of that.”