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Kindle to India: Frequently Asked Questions

I ordered an Amazon Kindle for a friend of mine.  Before ordering the Kindle, there were various doubts and apprehensions about it’s functionality, cost and shipping to India. It took me numerous Google searches to conclude that Kindle is a safe and good buy for someone in India.

You cannot browse the Web using Kindle (Global Wireless) in India. Image source: Wikipedia.org

Kindle (Global Wireless) Image source: Wikipedia.org

Subsequently, I placed an order on behalf of my friend and the Kindle was shipped to New Delhi, India to my residence in about 2 days. I got to setup, configure and play with this nifty device, before I could hand it over to my friend.

I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience of the ordering, shipping, and how well Kindle behaves in India. Instead of writing the entire experience chronologically, I jot it down as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

  1. Where did you order the Kindle from?
    Amazon.com
  2. Which version of Kindle did you order? Kindle 1, Kindle 2, Kindle DX or Kindle Global Wireless … ?
    The officially available and latest models are called Kindle (Global Wireless) and Kindle DX (Global Wireless). I bought Kindle (Global Wireless).
  3. What does Global Wireless mean?
    With Global Wireless versions, you can browse/search through the Amazon Book Store and Wikipedia through a free Internet connection. This connection (which uses the mobile phone network) is pre-paid by Amazon and you do not have to pay any bills for the aforementioned browsing/searching.
  4. Why did you buy Kindle and not Kindle DX ?
    Kindle DX is almost double the price of Kindle
  5. What is the total cost of Kindle?
    $378.57 (USD)
  6. Why do I have to pay so much ?
    This cost includes the shipping and the duty. Following is the bifurcation :
    Cost of the device: $259.00
    Import Duty: $98.59
    Shipping and Handling: $20.98
  7. Can I reduce the cost by opting for an alternate shipping option, even if it takes longer to ship ?
    No, alternate shipping option is offered for shipping to India.
  8. Is there any hidden cost ?
    No.
  9. What is the mode of payment ?
    Credit/Debit Card
  10. Can I pay through Paypal ?
    No.
  11. How much time does it take to ship the Kindle to India ?
    2 days
    Note: I ordered the Kindle on 18th January at 21:00 IST  and got it on 21st January, around 11:00 IST. It was a Monday evening when I ordered and got the Kindle on Thursday morning. Note that the device was shipping during business days. If holidays or weekends fall in between, the shipping may be delayed.
  12. Will  I be notified about the order and the shipping status ?
    You will get notified by two  E-mails sent from auto-confirm at amazon dot com and Amazon.com (ship-confirm at amazon dot com). The first E-mail is sent after a successful order with the order details. The second E-mail is sent as soon as the Kindle is dispatched for shipping and includes the tracking number to track the device in transit.
  13. How much time does it take to dispatch the Kindle for shipping after a successful order ?
    Less than 24 hours.
  14. How can I track my shipping ?
    You can track the device by logging into your Amazon account – which you used to order the Kindle.
  15. What are the contents of the box that gets delivered
    The Kindle device, a getting started manual, a USB cable and a power adapter – U.S. or United States style, two pin plug.
  16. How do I charge the Kindle?
    The USB cable can be plugged into the power socket for charging through AC power. For this you will need a U.S. to India power plug converter. Else you can charge the Kindle using your laptop/PC, using the USB cable.
  17. The wireless connection works without any configuration?
    Yes. But for the very first time, when I tried searching through the Amazon Store, the Kindle complained about “no connection” and suggested to reboot. After a reboot the connection was up. Ever since. the connection has always been on and working.
  18. Can I browse the Web using Kindle?
    No. Kindle does have a built-in Web browser which is suppose to work well for text-only or low-graphics Websites. But when I try to browse to a Website, the browser shows an error saying “Due to local restrictions, web browsing is not available for all countries”.   
  19. Can I Google using Kindle?
    No. The search fails with the message saying “Due to local restrictions, web browsing is not available for all countries”. Only Wikipedia and Amazon Store search works, over the wireless network (refer to FAQ 3)
  20. Does Kindle support PDFs?
    This question is not specific to India but to the device. Yet the answer is yes, Kindle supports PDF. But you cannot zoom or enlarge the text/font size of a PDF document. This makes some PDFs unreadable on Kindle.
  21. Can I transfer my own documents or books to the Kindle?
    This question is not specific to India but to the device. Yes, you can transfer any Kindle supported documents on the device. I have myself transferred and read .pdf, .txt, and .mobi formats on the Kindle.
  22. Can I transfer and read pirated E-Books, downloaded via Torrents, on the Kindle?
    Sorry, this blog is not a place to ask this question.
  23. I have heard that not all books are available for Indian users
    I have heard that too. Will keep this post updated when I comes across such titles.
  24. Instead of Kindle, why you did not recommend an Apple iPad to your friend?
    The launch of iPad was uncertain. As of this writing, its launch and pricing in India is not known. Also iPad is a multi-purpose and bulkier device.

Hope this FAQ helps my countrymen in going ahead and bringing home an Amazing Kindle!

Disclaimer: The above FAQ is strictly based on my personal buying and usage experience. Any or all information may be different in your case.

Update (March 30, 2010): Received an E-mail from Amazon today, informing about a refund of $36.93 on the export charges. No doubt, it means refund against the import duty. This reduces the total cost of the Kindle to $341.64 ($378.57−$36.93). The E-mail says that the refund has been processed and it may take about 10 business days for it to reflect in the Credit Card statement. Note that, this E-mail on the refund is received after about 2 months since the Kindle was shipped (refer to FAQ 11).

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Discussion

502 comments for “Kindle to India: Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. I am getting a At & t locked 3g kindle dx from US . Old one . Will i be able to use wi fi in India . I presume i won’t be able to use 3G network .

    Posted by akshay korlekar | July 26, 2015, 7:44 am
  2. Akshay Korlekar,

    I am getting a At & t locked 3g kindle dx from US .

    Oh, then you will not be able to use it unless there is some procedure to unlock it (google it)

    Will i be able to use wi fi in India .

    Yes

    Posted by Shekhar | July 28, 2015, 2:30 pm

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