Amazon's Worldwide Kindle Expansion to Continue in 2013

After a small global expansion in 2012, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) is working hard to sell its e-books and e-readers in new regions, including China. Now the dot-com retailer is expected to bring its hardware to Taiwan. According to DigiTimes , Amazon has passed an examination conducted by Taiwan's National Communications Commission. The commission approved the release of all three of the firm's tablets -- the standard and high-def Kindle Fires, as well as the 8.9-inch model.

Market analysts told DigiTimes that this means Amazon is "preparing to launch e-book services" in Taiwan.

In the United States, Amazon currently offers 4G data through a special contract with AT&T (NYSE: T ). The carrier allows subscribers to pay an annual rate of $49.99 for 250MB of data (per month for 12 months), 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 Amazon Appstore Credit.

Comparatively, AT&T charges iPad users $14.99 per month for the same amount of data. Verizon's cheapest plan is $20 per month but it comes with 1GB of data .

It is unknown how much data would cost Kindle Fire users in Taiwan, but DigiTimes' sources said that a plan could come from Far EasTone Telecommunications. Far EasTone is one of the three largest mobile telecommunications companies in Taiwan.

Earlier this month Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" had been released in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

The launch was accompanied by an unexpected price cut that reduced the standard model's MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) to $269. Amazon also knocked $100 off the 4G model, bringing its suggested price down to $399.

Last fall The New York Times reported that Amazon had sold seven million tablets worldwide. This compared favorably to Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS ), which was only believed to have sold five million Nook tablets.

Amazon's sales were also greater than Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Nexus 7, which had sold three million units at the time.

Both Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Amazon have made a big push for dominance in the education sector. Amazon has been particularly aggressive in this approach, announcing that it became the exclusive sponsor of the National PTA's Family Reading Experience program.

The Kindle will now be promoted as the "Official E-reader of the National PTA," providing Amazon with an interesting branding opportunity.

Amazon may face one more hurdle in launching the Kindle and Kindle Fire in Taiwan. While e-books are common in the United States and Europe, the DigiTimes report said that the market is less mature in Taiwan.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

(c) 2013 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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