UAE in need of Kindle-d Spirit
If Amazon is serious about developing a presence here in the UAE-it must first develop a much-needed support system.
September 25, 2012 10:29 by Eva Fernandes
Recently, I was in the market for an e-reader. The first product to jump into my mind was Kindle, the brand metonymic with e-readers since its launch in 2007. But where would I get one?
Time for research: online, the Kindle has an excellent presence. With the internet jam-packed with reviews, recommendation and kinds of electronic love there is a very obvious gap when it comes to the UAE. Going to the source, will reveal that Amazon does not offer Kindle content nor does it ship Kindles to the UAE.
All of this makes the statement of Vishesh Bhatia, CEO at Jumbo who told Gulf News of the company’s Kindle ambitions in an article titled: “Amazon’s new Kindle line-up has eyes on growing e-reader market in the UAE,” rather interesting. The store is expecting to stock the latest 7 inch Kindle HD sometime in the upcoming weeks.
As of now, the device is stocked only in Virgin Megastores, so increased visibility can mean only good things for the brand. Yet, merely making the device available will do little to help boost the brand’s presence here in the Emirates. After all, you can only use the Kindle to its full potential if you have a registered Amazon account with a credit card from outside the UAE-(as long as it is from a country Amazon does provide Kindle content for). Sure, you would be able to load your Kindle up with pirated or downloaded versions of the books and movies you wanted to watch-but no more. A fact Bhatia is well aware of: “Customers with an existing Amazon account can easily access the digital content for their Kindle. New users who have a US postal number can also register and start using the device.”
Quite frankly, that Amazon has not yet sorted itself out to tap into the UAE market is just a little pathetic. That the Blackberry App World and iTunes took so long to set-up is understandable, but what is Amazon’s excuse. The first generation Kindle was launched well over five years ago-if it really wants to build a substantial presence internationally it needs to invest in providing the required infrastructure of support.