A lot of people asked me about the usage details of Kindle in India, so I decided to write a post to clear the doubts. There are two ways to buy and get the Kindle in India
- Get it delivered straight from Amazon : This is the most convenient option but be prepared to pay a hefty import duty on the product. It usually get delivered in 2-3 business days. Last time I checked this was around $56-60 plus the $139 for the Kindle
- Get someone to get it for you from the US: If you have any friends in the United States, they can buy the Kindle there and bring it for you. This is the cheapest option as you get it for the base price of $139.
If you chose the second option, the Kindle’s base location would still be USA, so what are the implications of using it in India with a different base location? First, on the 3G version your internet will still work free of cost. So you can check mail, browse Wikipedia without any additional charge regardless of the actual and the base location of the Kindle. To get personal documents delivered to your Kindle, you have to pay a charge of $0.15 per megabyte. The transfer would be charged only if the document is send through 3G. If you want to have it delivered for free it can be sent to your free kindle email id (XXXXXXXXXXXXX@free.kindle.com). But if you send it to your free Kindle email, it can only be delivered through WiFi and not 3G.
The base location of the Kindle matters only when you are buying books/magazines from the Amazon store. At locations other than the United States, books are typically more expensive (usually by $2-3) and also the number of free books is lesser in India. So is it possible to keep using the Kindle from India if your base location is US? It is but you need to be quite careful about it.
Every time you make a purchase from the Amazon store, they have some geolocation code to detect your actual location. if you use a USA based proxy or VPN every time you access Amazon store, then there would be no issues. However if you directly access the store with base location as USA, the account gets flagged as being accessed outside the base area. Once the account gets flagged you will see the following message whenever you try to buy.
You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account.
Once the account is flagged, you cannot purchase anything new from the Amazon store even if you access the internet behind a proxy / VPN account. However all the existing purchases will hold valid including magazine subscriptions which were made before the account was flagged.
I hope this clears any doubts on using the Kindle in India. Please post any other questions in the Comments section and I’ll answer them to the best of my knowledge