Incorporated as “Cadabra” in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the company went online the following year as amazon.com. It started as an online bookstore but soon diversified into DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewellery. Apart from online retailing, Amazon also produces consumer electronics, notably the Amazon Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer, and provides cloud computing services.
Amazon Kindle International
By Tony Chan our gadget man
You must have heard about the Amazon Kindle by now, but you probably couldn't get one unless you travelled to the US and then you can only download books while you were there.
That all changed this week, with Amazon announcing it will ship the Kindle overseas, including Hong Kong, where it will be available later this month. You even get free shipping.
The beauty of the offer is that now you can also download books from the Kindle Store.
Like the Kindle in the US, you use the wireless network - in Hong Kong that's the 3G network - to download your books in less than 60 seconds. And like the US model, you don't pay for the wireless connection when you are downloading books with the Kindle, only the price of the books, which range from US$11.99 to under US$5.99 for more than 100,000 older titles.
In total you can select from about 350,000 books on the Kindle Store, as well as popular newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Each Kindle comes with a 6-inch display that uses E Ink technology to mimic actual printed paper pages, a keyboard for text entry, and enough storage to hold 1,500 books.
The Kindle International is priced at US$279 from Amazon.com.
Pros: easy download of books, E Ink that resembles real paper, works in Hong Kong
Cons: E Ink is monotone, so no colour option for magazines, small display