Did you spot it? In case you didn’t, the UK media spent much of yesterday fawning over Amazon’s Kindle, their obvious delight at finally being able to pre-order one and further indulge themselves in some faux Friends/Sex in the City world blinding them to the pitfalls of a reader crippled with DRM.
While Sony and Google books recently announced they would embrace the widely available EPUB standard, Kindle is tied to a proprietary AZW format. (see Amazon.com for a list of supported formats)
This is a serious restriction on consumer choice so it’s a shame the same media which spent two years railing against O2’s iPhone exclusivity and championing the cause of the consumer against the banks couldn’t find space in their coverage to highlight it to would-be consumers.
UK consumers would be better looking at buying a sub-£200 reader from a UK-based retailer which offers a UK-support line (Amazon’s website lists an US support line for international Kindle owners so calls could be pricey) and the ability to buy your books from the retailer with the best prices in your own currency.
Plus, if you buy a reader in the UK from somewhere like John Lewis or Argos you can normally add an extended warranty which the Amazon.com website states is currently “available to U.S. customers” for the Kindle.