Michael Leidig
Phone: 0043 1 811 40 174
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Tue, 05.03.2013
pte20130305023 Products/Innovations, Computer/Telecommunications
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Austrians Lose Out Over Cut Price Tablet Deal
iPad Rival Kindle Only On Sale In Germany Over Legal Wrangles
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Vienna (pte023/05.03.2013/17:37) - A rival to the iPad that retails at a fraction of the cost is still being denied to Austrian consumers because of red tape.

Opposition from music and film companies to allowing pan-European licences means that revolutionary new products like the highly rated "Kindle Fire HD", which offers much the same functionality as the Apple iPad, are still not available in Austria and other smaller countries even if they are available in bigger markets like Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Amazon launched its new "Kindle Fire HD" tablet back in October last year, but in Austria customers still have to make do with the old black-and-white version.

As opposed to the previous Kindle versions, the "Kindle Fire HD" not only allows you to download electronic books, but also enables you to watch films, surf the web and take pictures - much in the way as the popular tablets manufactured by Apple, but only substantially cheaper.

The difference between the Amazon and Apple products lies in the marketing strategy adopted by the two international firms. As opposed to Apple, Amazon has long given up the idea of making any profit on the actual piece of equipment, but instead rely on the sale of films, books and music to make money once the customer has purchased the tablet. The basic iPad from the Apple family will cost you 499 Euros while 185 Euros will buy you a Kindle Fire. They hope this - initial - difference in price will encourage current and potential iPad users to switch over to the Kindle Fire.

However, clients with an IP address in Austria who tried to pre-order the Kindle Fire at the same time as their German neighbours only got a polite notice informing them "The Kindle Fire cannot be delivered to this address at this time."

Veronika von Bredow, PR Manager Kindle for Germany and Austria, said: "The device could be used in Austria, but we are not recommending it or selling it to Austrian customers directly at the moment."

Customers in Austria who want to use a German Kindle will still be able to buy and download eBooks, browse the web, use the calendar and most of the other features included with the Kindle fire. But access to films, music and apps is limited.

Customers in Germany for example can access the LoveFilm offer on their Kindle Fire for 6,99 Euros/month. Customers in Austria with a German Kindle would not be able to stream these movies, or indeed access the MP3-music shop or even buy and download apps from the Amazon app store.

This is due to complications with the licence agreement for films and music that need to be sorted on a country by country basis.

The licence for Germany has been agreed, but not yet for Austria.

The problem is that there is no consistent licence system in Europe, as there is in the USA for instance. At present, studios in Hollywood must assign each European country with its own licence - each time with varying prices and contracts.

Kindle PR Manager Veronika von Bredow added: " will be offering Kindle Fire devices in Austria once we can be sure that the customer experience is perfect. We have not yet announced any timeline for this."

But that doesn't mean that anyone who is happy with the idea of the functions they can access including books can still head over the border and snap up a Kindle fire for 185 euros instead of 499 for an Apple.

The EU has long considered creating a uniform licence system. However, the authorities have faced resistance from the film industry.

Thomas Hoehne, the media law expert from the law firm Hoehne in der Maur und Partner, said however that despite the call for change, he does not believe that the licensing situation will change in the near future. He said: "Any attempt by Brussels to create a pan-European licence would be a huge intrusion into the rights of the film industry."

International companies such as Amazon and Google however would be the first to profit from a pan-European licence, as they would be able to offer their products to all European countries in the same way, at the same time and without complicated bureaucratic legal steps in the way.

Submitter: newsfox.editorial
Contact: Michael Leidig
Phone: 0043 1 811 40 174