Amazon has partnered with China Mobile telecom to release a new Kindle in China.
The Amazon Kindle X Migu is a basic Kindle with extra software features. It costs 658 yuan, or $96.21 USD, and ships on 10 July.
Note: Migu is the name of China Mobile’s content sub.
The Kindle X MiGu has all the same great features as the regular Kindle: X-Ray, annotation, long battery life, and access to a half million titles in the Chinese Kindle Store.
It also ships with a free year’s subscription to Amazon Prime
Kindle Unlimited, but that’s not its most interesting detail.
When it ships next month, Kindle X MiGu owners will be able to buy ebooks in the Kindle Store with their China Mobile account, and have the payment processed along with their monthly cellphone bill.
They will also have the option of buying ebooks from MiGu’s ebookstore, and reading them on their Kindles.
MiGu’s store sells serial ebooks by the chapter, and according to one source carries 40 million works. All will be accessible from the new Kindle, and to encourage sales the Kindle X MiGu will come with 300 yuan in credits for the MiGu store.
Yes, this is the first Kindle to ship with two bookstores.
This is not the first ereader to have multiple ebookstores (Bebook pioneered the concept in early 2010), but it is the first Kindle that used someone else’s bookstore.
Amazon has apparently decided to apply the maxim “if you can’t beat them, join them”.
Amazon is the single largest ebook retailer in the western world and accounts for an estimated 82% of ebook sales in the top five English-language markets, but in China and many other parts of Asia Amazon is still in second place to its local competitors.
And so today Amazon is coopting one of those competitors by bringing new content to its Kindle and offering China Mobile’s customers a new way to consume the content they like.