Canadian Tech-Poverty Means No Kindle

I would really love to have a Kindle. really. And this story from the Silicon Alley Insider isn’t making things any better. See Dan Frommer’s live note that “Kindle sales are now 35% of book sales when Kindle editions are available.

You would think this kind of statement would jump start some action! For publishers, for consumers, and especially for Amazon to expand their offering… to say… north of the border? I’m also not fussy about the screen size. I’d take a hand-me-down for that matter.

What I am losing my patience with, is waiting years every time an innovative wired gadget comes along. Do I really need to have a Rogers Kindle for this to come to pass in Canada? Did the Canadian-lag on the iPhone help anyone?

Welcome to the hinterland, I suppose. And this time it includes downtown TO.


  1. I agree. My U.S. friends are all comparing notes on the latest Kindle. By the time we get it here, they will be laughing at us because we don’t know how to use it. I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled kid, but for those of us trying to keep up with understanding the newest technologies and their implications for clients and society, this really hurts us in Canada.

  2. It’d be interesting to do a list of all of the possibly great IT developments — hardware and software — that we can’t get here, and may well not get until after much of the rest of the world has had a crack them. My own particular annoyance (now that iPhone finally made it north — I say nothing about the terms of the Rogers contract) is our inability to use GrandCentral, or Google Voice as it’s now called. Great features, the kind of convenience a consumer should have at hand…

  3. Well, some of the websites with TV content are blocked outside of the U.S., but that concerns slightly different issues. hulu is one

  4. Not only are you missing out on the original technology, but also the innovation! See the Beeb’s story on the “textbook” model at

  5. I absolutely concur. The usual excuses of Canada being a “small market” or some geographical weirdness about the 49th parallel should not equate with an embargo on new technologies coming in to our country.

    We ‘exported’ Standard Time and the Blackberry and a bunch of other great things. So it isn’t like we aren’t contributing to the technological advances in the world.

    On the flip side, perhaps someone in Canada should sell a Kindelesque … wait a minute, we can buy a Sony eBook reader.

    Isn’t it more our style to be the where for a platform neutral eBook reader?
    Just asking. I still like paper!

  6. Well, I’m participating in BookCamp Toronto on June 6. I’m thinking that may just be a topic that comes up, Shaunna. ;-)

  7. Is it just a matter of companies being too stubborn to bring their products to Canada, or is there something bigger at play? Someone pointed out to me the Kindle delay could be a copyright issue. I’m thinking it is more likely an issue around competition in the publishing industry.

    What really is holding us up?

  8. I’m trying to understand this issue. Since you can obviously get a Kindle if you want one, is the real issue that the wireless (Whispernet or whatever it’s called) service is not available in Canada? ‘Sorry to be so uninformed. And to address Connie’s concern, you guys will never be behind your US friends.

  9. Here’s someone that’ll set you straight on the real problemo:

  10. G Tyron points to the lack of Whispernet in Canada as the primary reason the Kindle has not yet been released here. I also felt this was the likely culprit until I noticed that the recently released Kindle International edition has been made available in a good number of countries without Whispernet.

    For instance, if you go to and locate the page for the Kindle (Global wireless edition), you will see that there is a link to read information specific to individual countries.

    The text for Canada reads, “Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in Canada. We are working to make Kindle available to our Canadian customers as soon as possible.”

    However, if you open up, say, Zimbabwe, you will see the following:

    “We are excited to now ship Kindle to Zimbabwe.

    Kindle wireless is currently not available in your country. You can transfer books and personal documents to your Kindle via USB”

    This clearly illustrates how the lack of a local wireless carrier is not a barrier to selling Kindles. My guess would be the Canadian publishing industry being typically short-minded and greedy and wanting a specific percentage of Canadian content or simply wanting an exorbitant cut of profits.

    In any case, we are not seeing the full story.