Many of the most popular Amazon Kindle e-readers in Canada are equipped with Bluetooth chips. This includes the 11th Generation Kindle Paperwhite, Signature Edition, All-New Kindle, and various children’s models. Amazon has disabled Bluetooth through software so Canadians can’t purchase audiobooks from the Audible section of the Kindle bookstore. In fact, there’s no audiobook section at all in the bookstore, so it’s impossible to buy or listen.
Audible is big in Canada and is the most popular audiobook company. They have a dedicated Canadian landing page where they focus on Canadian authors and podcasters, but you can also listen to all the top-selling titles from major publishers. You can listen to audiobooks with the Audible app for Android and iOS. The website also lets you listen to audiobooks with a web player. Audiobooks are also compatible with Alexa smart speakers and Sonos speakers. Suffice to say, Audible has no problem selling digital audiobooks to its customers, but not on Kindle e-readers.
For some reason, Audible on Kindle is not available in Canada. Amazon has never publicly revealed why they don’t want to sell Canadian audiobooks directly on the Kindle. Amazon has an audiobook player and the ability to buy and listen to audiobooks on the Kindle in the US, Japan and the UK for example. However, they don’t have a help file or a list of supported countries, where Amazon allows access to audiobooks. It is therefore completely impossible to know in advance whether Audible is supported in your country. Amazon customer service says they don’t even have an internal list of supported countries either.
Suffice it to say. If you’re looking to buy a Kindle e-reader in Canada and want to listen to audiobooks, you can’t. If you live in other countries and want to know in advance whether your Kindle supports Audible audiobooks, there is also no way to find out unless you contact Amazon customer service. and ask them, or look at the product description page and look at the reviews and see if anyone has mentioned it, which is really not intuitive.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.