Amazon didn’t allow users living in India to order Kindle Fire and Paperwhite from US site, because they wanted to launch the devices in Amazon’s Indian store. This has just happened (thanks, Tom Killalea for the heads up).
Two Kindle Fire (7″ and 8.9″) and two Kindle Paperwhite (with and without 3G) models are already on offer, but they will be available from June 27. Usually it means that shipping will start on that day and you can pre-order the model any day before that – but not in this case. The only thing you can do now is to sign up to Amazon India site to get notified when the devices will be available for purchase.
Amazon simply wants as many users as possible to open an account in Indian store, and Kindle devices seem to be the strongest reason for that.
The cheaper, WiFi-only, Kindle Paperwhite will cost 10,999 Indian Rupees (around $190 – compared to $139 in Kindle Store US). The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (16GB) is ₹15,999 ($276 vs $214 in US). Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ will be available from ₹21,999, the equivalent of $380. Both Kindle tablets are also available with 32GB memory.
Amazon’s press release also says that Kindles will be sold by several retailers in India:
Starting June 27, Kindle Fire will also be available at over one hundred retail outlets across India including Croma, Reliance Digital, E-Zone and Vijay Sales stores located in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Pune.
All prices mentioned in the press release are “suggested” – even regarding the Kindles you will buy in Indian Kindle Store.
One important thing to keep in mind is that any digital content you’ll buy in Indian store, will be completed via Amazon US, using credit card associated with your US account. What’s more, “your credit card must be internationally enabled.” In other words, if you never purchased anything on Amazon, you’ll have to open two accounts to shop in Amazon India. Not the most convenient way of online shopping.
The only model you can buy right now is the basic Kindle, for ₹5,999. It ships in 2 – 4 business days, and is sold by Cromaretail.
I’ve also checked the status of Kindle devices in Amazon US. Don’t go there to buy Kindle Fire or Paperwhite, because they are cheaper. If you have a shipping address in India you will be redirected to Amazon India (see screenshot below). Looks like buying Kindles from India via Amazon US is never going to happen.