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Amazon starts shipping Kindle Touch 3G, one week early

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Amazon began shipping its Kindle Touch 3G to customers in more than 175 countries and territories worldwide, seven days earlier than previously announced.

The e-reader offers the same design and features as the Kindle Touch, and adds the convenience of free 3G wireless -- Amazon is paying for the 3G connection, so users don't have to sign up for annual contracts and pay monthly fees.

"Kindle Touch 3G is the most full-featured e-reader available, with a beautiful, latest-generation electronic ink display, fast page turns and long, two-month battery life," said Dave Limp, vice president of the Amazon Kindle division.

The device also "makes it easier than ever" to turn pages, search, shop for content and take notes, the company said. Like other Kindle e-readers, the ink display reads like real paper, with no glare in bright sunlight. Amazon said it can hold as many as 3,000 books.

The Seattle online retail giant said Kindle Touch 3G orders would be filled in the order they were received.

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