Amazon Goes To Brazil

Amazon's gearing up a Brazilian launch for the Kindle this summer. Their strategy? Sell their product for far cheaper than the local competition, take a hit in import duties, and watch the profits roll in.

The Amazon Kindle is an ubiquitous piece of tech in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Amazon is now entering the Brazilian market with a vengeance—and giving journalists everywhere the opportunity to make awful Brazil/Amazon puns. According to the Frankfurt Book Fair's trade magazine Publishing Perspectives, Amazon is planning a massive Kindle launch in Brazil this summer.

According to Publishing Perspectives' Roberta Campassi, the Kindle will sell for a flat price of US$115—and Amazon's also considering a special launch price of $87. The Brazilian e-book reader market is currently dominated by a local device, the Positivo Alfa, which retails for $465 and uses Adobe's eBook platform. Computer hardware in Brazil is subject to high taxes and import duties, which has worked to the detriment of local manufacturers while hobbling Apple and Amazon's attempts to enter the market.

More than 3,600 Portuguese-language Kindle books are already available from Amazon. Publishing Perspectives reports that Amazon is also planning to launch a separate Brazilian Kindle store; similar portals were also created for the Italian and German markets. The actual launch date for the Kindle in Brazil is expected to be in June or July.

Despite the fact that Amazon takes its name from Brazil's iconic river, Amazon currently has no presence in Brazil. The domain "" is currently occupied by the Brazilian IT outfit Amazon Corporation, which has a suspiciously similar logo to the American e-retail/cloud hosting monolith.

While the launch proves Amazon believes there's a market among Brazil's rapidly growing middle class for tablet computers, they might face an uphill battle: a new poll of British consumers revealed less than half are interested in buying budget tablets.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

[Image: Flickr user roger4336]

For more stories like this, follow @fastcompany on Twitter. Email Neal Ungerleider, the author of this article, here or find him on Twitter and Google+.

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  • XSportSeeker

    Now that is a VERY interesting trend there...
    Not very fond of Kindle myself, but I always wanted to buy stuff from Amazon.
    Problem is, due to those high taxes (they can more than double the price of products), Amazon only sells books and magazines to Brazil (no import taxes on those, and only those).
    Everything else gets taxed, which is probably why Amazon doesn't let brazilians buy most of their products.
    Also, if Amazon starts with this trend, maybe others will follow suit.
    Brazil has the most expensive iPod in the world (at least according to a research from 2007 - for brazilian readers: ), and it's all due to those damn taxes.
    This creates a very tall obstacle for consumers and business who works with tech and equipment that's not available in Brazil.
    In recent years Foxconn expanded business inside Brazil, some deals were made with the government, and it seems (though I don't know when) prices of tablets and some other products might be getting lower for us. Maybe that's among the reasons why Amazon decided to do this.
    Regardless, brazilian consumers might finally be getting electronics with fair prices soon.