Kindle Fire’s Canadian debut not looking likely anytime soon


Yesterday, tablet fans got a first glimpse at Amazon's latest offering, the next generation Kindle Fire. With two new HD models and one non-HD, there are more choices than ever for fans of the popular iPad alternative.

Except, that is, if you're Canadian.

Yet again, it seems that all 36 million of us north of the border are being overlooked as a viable market for the Internet retail giant's tablet. Just like with the 2011 launch of the Kindle Fire, The Vancouver Sun reports there is no Canadian launch date given for the new devices.

And as if to pour salt in the wound, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did announce that certain models of the new Kindle Fire would go on sale in Europe this fall.

If you're like many Canadians who are determined to get the Kindle Fire anyway, you have your choice between the new Kindle Fire HD models, which come in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch Wi-Fi only versions, and an optional 4G LTE connection on the larger version. They range in price from $199 USD for the 16GB 7-inch model to $599 for the 32GB 8.9-inch 4G one.

There's also a lower-end Kindle Fire without the HD display, which will cost $159 USD, and the new e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite. But even the Paperwhite won't be available in Canada: we will only be able to purchase the new version of the basic Kindle on, which will retail for $89 CAD and go on sale September 12.

The low price point of the Kindle Fire in comparison to competitors like the $249 Google Nexus does make it appealing, even for those of us who would have to make a trip across the border to get one. Even if you were to purchase one of the new Kindle Fire models, though, you're still going to run into the same problem that the current Kindle Fire has in Canada: limited access to content.

While Canadians are able to take advantage of the ebook selection in the Kindle store, we don't have access to much of the other content like games and Amazon Instant Video. Some of Kindle's specialty services like Whispernet are also not available in Canada, despite Kindle devices being able to access Canada's 3G networks. So if you do manage to get your hands on one of these nifty new Kindle Fires, be warned: you're not going to be getting the full experience offered to our neighbours to the south.

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