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Amazon and AT&T on Monday announced that AT&T will begin selling Amazon’s bestselling Kindle 3G in the company-owned retail stores in the U.S. beginning on March 6. Previously, Amazon only sold Kindle itself and therefore the release of the e-book reader into a major retail channel may inspire additional interest from the consumers.

“Amazon has without question pioneered the e-book reader space with Kindle, and it’s exciting to not only connect this device through our network, but now offer it in our stores to readers around the country. As the first dedicated e-book reader offered in our stores, we are confident the Kindle will be an attractive addition to our in store connected devices lineup,” said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T.

AT&T will include Kindle 3G 6" in its connected devices displays throughout AT&T company-owned stores, offering customers the opportunity to test drive the device onsite.

While the initiative of Amazon and AT&T is indisputably interesting, the most important question is whether Amazon will start to sell Kindles through other network operators and retailers in order to maximize market share of Kindle and set up a de-facto standard for electronic book readers. On emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe or Russia it is crucial for Amazon to start selling Kindles via operators, but the problem is that there are not a lot of payments options there and Amazon will have to partner with operators to sell its books to the end-user.

The third-generation Kindle has a 6" electronic-ink screen with 50% better contrast than any other e-reader, a sleek design at just 8.7 ounces (246 grams) of weight. The Kindle offers up to one month of battery life, the storage to 3500 books, built-in Wi-Fi and 3G, a graphite color option and the price of $189. The Kindle Store now has more than 810 thousand of books, including new releases and 107 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers.

Tags: Amazon, Kindle, AT&T, E-Book

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