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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 "amazon.com.br" 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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