Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Amazon Prime reaches Canada, but missing two key features

Amazon.com's Amazon Prime finally reached the company's northern neighbor, Canada, on Tuesday, but it's missing some features that U.S. residents love: Prime Instant Video and access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

A quick comparison between the feature pages for Prime for the U.S. and Canadian shows that both of those features are missing. The price of Amazon Prime in Canada is $79, and Canadian dollars, not U.S. dollars, but with the current exchange rate, that is virtually the same anyway.

With those omissions, the service in Canada strictly amounts to free two-day shipping on Prime-eligible items. Basically, that amounts to items that are sold directly by Amazon.com or are "fulfilled by Amazon.com."

Still, Canadians might want to look at this as a stepping stone to further upgrades. Amazon Prime has been offered in the U.S. since 2005. When it began, though, it too only amounted to free two-day shipping on most items. It has only been relatively recently that Prime Instant Video, which is free access to a subset of Amazon.com streaming service, and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library was launched.

It must be somewhat annoying for Canadians, though, to see how long this has taken. Amazon Prime launched in Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany in 2007, and in France (as "Amazon Premium") in 2008. Canada had to wait, despite the fact that Amazon.com's HQ is in Seattle, Wash., which most people know isn't all that far from the Canadian border.

No comments: