Amazon very kindly launched the new touchscreen Kindles yesterday onto an expectant UK market, a full seven days ahead of their expected schedule, on April 21st. But what they failed to mention were the outrageous UK mark ups on the devices which goes to show that Amazon view the UK as a bit of an easy target when it comes to inflating prices. The two new Touch e readers that came across the pond yesterday were the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Touch 3G, both more advanced versions of reading device that allows users to read and download books in an electronic format. The Touch enables users to connect to the internet via wi-fi and the Touch 3G allows users to download on the go from mobile phone networks.
But the UK are still bemoaning the fact that we still do not have a Kindle Fire, however, with the two Kindle touch screens, complete with their fabulous E Ink touch-screen between them, at least you can pretend you’ve got a tablet. The Kindle Touch will retail at £109 in the UK and the Kindle Touch 3G is set at £169. You can buy both e readers direct from Amazon.co.uk, and from other retailers, including John Lewis, Currys, PC World, Argos and Tesco. So how much are they retailing for over in the good old US of A you ask me? I’ll tell you; in the US you can grab a Kindle Touch for around $99.99 which converted into UK pounds is £65.72, a saving of £43.28 or approximately 66%, a huge mark up. As for the Kindle Touch 3G, in the US it is priced at $149.99 which is £98.05, a saving of £70.95 or approximately 72%.
So why are British customers being short changed over these devices? A spokesperson for Amazon claimed that prices were cheaper in the US because there were various retail subsidies that allowed cities in the US to offer special discounts on the Kindles. It commented that without these discounts, the Kindle Touch would come in at £91.48 each and the Kindle Touch 3G at £124.39, but these are still hugely discounted and UK customers are still paying over the odds for the same device. Plus the company is a virtual online store and as such, has no overheads such as business premises, warehouse or high street rentals or store staffing costs. The spokesperson added that the cost of trading with the UK is typically higher, as with all European countries, “There are different and higher taxes in Europe, as well as higher transport and other operating costs, but we are always working to try and lower them.”
And even though the Kindle is over priced over here, it has not stopped UK customers buying it in their droves, as the VP of Kindle for the EU, Jorrit Van der Meulen, revealed that orders for the new Kindle line-up have “exceeded our expectations”. He added, “We know that UK customers are eager to get their hands on these new Kindles, which is why we’re delighted to be able to ship several days earlier than we planned.” If you fancy getting your hands on the new Kindles, Amazon is your best bet to get the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Touch 3G.