banner1.jpgEditor’s note: this is an email I received from Piet who is staying in Bolivia for a year. The picture is from the Leitor site. P.

Hi Paul,

The Brazilian company Mix Tecnologia Ltda this week started selling an ereader that they announced a year ago and was mentioned on Teleread.

They seem to sell only the basic version which isn’t `better than the Kindle’ as it doesn’t have 3G. It is quite expensive at R$890, which is $500. This is about the average weekly salary of a Brazilian with an academic education. Compare this with the Indian ereader that
was mentioned on Teleread this week which is much cheaper.

The ereader is also presented at the International Book Biennial of São Paolo which runs this week. Apparently this week is book week in South America.

How they are going to survive at this price level is beyond me. The Kindle 3 with more possibilities is less than half the price, even when shipped to Brazil. The only problem for the Kindle is that there aren’t many ebooks in Portuguese. But Paolo Coelho already has an exclusive contract with Amazon and Jeff Bezos said he wants to have all books in all languages available on the Kindle. So it’s just a matter of time. Or Amazon has to include ePub support in the Kindle, but I still doubt that Jeff Bezos wants to be dependent on Adobe DRM.


  1. They’ll survive fine.
    Those are actually decent prices by Brazillian electronics standards.
    Brazilian import duties run 100% and higher.

    If Kindle shows up in Brazil it will likely end up selling for the equivalent of US$700 for the WiFi edition. Unless Amazon subsidizes the hardware price.

    Protectionism is a wonderful thing.

  2. Felix, actually right now you can import a Kindle from Brazil, paying taxes before order it, direct to Amazon, who takes care about everything. Basic model (only WiFi) arrives here at R$ 520,00, much cheaper than this Leitor D and also Positivo Alfa, the first big ereader launch around here.

    The Kindle’s main problem here is shared by genuine Brazilian ereaders/stores: the lack of Portuguese written ebooks. Livraria Cultura, the Alfa’s first seller, reported a month ago it sold only 134 ebooks. A little more a hundred in third days!

    Unfortunately, right now ereaders in Brasil are for early adopters and people who know English. Our ereaders are expensive, there are a few Portuguese ebooks available, and most of them are so expensive as the same in traditional format (paper)…


  3. Not sure if I follow; Amazon, from outside the country, can get an electronic device to a customer and pay less taxes and duties than a local retailer?
    Or are ebook readers, as a category, treated differently than other devices?
    Wonder how long that’s going to last…

  4. Felix, everything is more expensive here than outside. Example: for us, Brazilians, it’s cheaper import games for Xbox/PS3 from US, via eBay, than buying them from local retailers. The difference is huge (a game that costs US$ 60 there, here is sold by US$ 145). The same happens for mobile phones, computers, consoles, any kind of gadget.

    About ereaders, I guess local retailers sell their ones by this expensive prices because this kind of gadget is quite new and unkown here. Most people don’t know about Kindle, so, they buy whatever local stores sell, by the price they want. Positivo Alfa, for example, costs R$ 750 (what is about US$ 430), and it’s already sold out, a week after it’s release… Detail: neither 3G nor WiFi connection.

    It’s hard to be a consumerist in Brazil 😛


  5. If you want a decently priced gadget in Argentina, you will have to smuggle it in (I missed two opportunities of acquaintances visiting NY for pleasure), but in the end this is all about expanding the user base with affordable prices for gadgets and digital content platforms. I was wondering if local cellphone companies might subsidize the cost of 3g tablets, and book chains might pool resources for a common platform, but no way, there is short sightness and too much fear. I keep my fingers crossed waiting for Google Editions (whose representative held talks last year and seemed to reach an understanting with the bigger publishing houses); Google tablet???

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