Kindle for iPhone International version and how WhisperSync works

Amazon released the Kindle for iPhone application now to more than 60 countries. In other words, you can now download it to your iPhone even though you don’t have an iTunes US account. In addition, you can now synchronize your reading between the Kindle 2 International and your iPhone (with Kindle for iPhone International application installed). If your country is not covered in that list of 60, you still can install the Kindle for iPhone US version by a proven method.

How WhisperSync works

First of all, we need to understand how all these devices are linked together – in fact, they are not linked directly, but via Amazon:

Kindle 2 <— X —>   Amazon <— Y —>   iPhone

If you’re in US, the connection “X” is the Whispernet via Sprint network; and the connection “Y” is the 3G phone network. And since Sprint network is not available outside US, that’s why the sychronization with your Kindle 2 US version will not work outside US.

However, in the case of Kindle 2 International, the connection “X” is just ordinary 3G / GPRS network. Therefore, the synchronization works … with a twist. That is, how you “trigger” the synchronization.

Two scenarios here, the first one is how to synchronize your furthest reading page to Amazon. To save battery and data transfer, the Kindle (and the Kindle iPhone application) will not send the page information to Amazon, whenever you flip to next page. Instead, it will do it only when you “close the book”. In other words, in Kindle iPhone application’s case, closing the application will not send the information back to Amazon.

  • For Kindle, when it goes to sleep mode or you close the book (i.e. go to Home page by pressing Home button), the latest information will be synchronized to Amazon. Of course, you need to turn on your wireless first.
  • In Kindle for Iphone, you need to press the “Home” button on the top left to “close the book”, then the furthest read page information will be sent back to Amazon…

The second scenario is how your other device pick up the furthest read page from the original device.

  • In Kindle 2, press Menu, select “Sync to Furthest Page Read”, Kindle will connect to and then ask you whether you want to synchronize the page. Press Yes and you’re done. Again, make sure the wireless option has been turned on.
  • In Kindle for iPhone, it is easier, as every time you start up the application, it will connect to Amazon via the phone network to synchronize and you will also be prompted to ask you whether you want to synchronize the page. Press Yes and that is it.

Enjoy !!

Kindle photo

Update 1: Somehow my Kindle 2 always connect to WhisperNet via GPRS, not 3G network in HK.  A great tips from reader John and also, you can actually select the network you want !! Check out this post.

Author: Michael Yung

Michael possessed over 30 years of experience in Information Technology with focuses on complex application development, database technologies and IT strategy. He also spent the last 20 years in Internet technology, eCommerce development / operations, web usability, computer security and Public Key Infrastructure technologies.

10 thoughts on “Kindle for iPhone International version and how WhisperSync works”

  1. Michael,

    I have a few questions and hope that you can help.

    I’m from Hong Kong but currently working in Singapore most of the time. I’m getting a Kindle 2 International so that I can read while I’m traveling. So, I’m a newbie for Kindle. Here are my questions:

    1. If I were to use “Hotspot Shield” to hire my IP, I would be able to buy the US version of Kindle ebooks (usually cheaper). Do I have to use the option “Transfer via computer” and then sync to Kindle 2 International using USB? How about synchronizing the ebooks to Kindle iPhone and Kindle for PC? Is there any linkage between Kindle for PC and Kindle 2 International?

    2. If I were to sync the purchased Kindle ebook (US version) to my Kindle 2 International via Whispernet in Hong Kong, do I need to pay additional communication charges for that?

    3. Whispernet has not yet covered Singapore (for now at least). I do have a Singapore mobile SIM card with 3G. If I were to sync the purchased Kindle ebooks (US version) to my Kindle 2 International via a local 3G mobile network in Singapore, can I do that? If so, do I need to pay additional communication charges to Amazon for that?

    4. Actually, I’m rather confused about the situation that I will need to pay Amazon for additional Whispernet charges. Assuming that I purchase all the Kindle ebooks (US version) by hiding my IP address. Any scenario that I’ll need to pay Amazon for additional charges?

    Sorry for the many questions. Appreciate your help in advance. Thanks.



    1. Hi Andy,

      Hope the followings answer your questions:

      1. I assume you already have an Amazon account with US address, otherwise you will not able to buy US books at all. And other than “Hotspot Shield”, there is another method (I tried) that can buy US books, please check my other blog post ( In any case, yes you shall use the Transfer via computer option to transfer the book to your Kindle International, as I am still not sure whether Amazon will charge the US$ 2 charge if you do it wirelessly. On the other hand, Kindle for PC utilize the PC Internet connection and Kindle for iPhone utilize the phone network; both will not charge extra.

      2. I have not tried it, but it is possible according to the fine print in Amazon website.

      3. No you cannot do that, as the wireless connect is built into the Kindle and don’t require (your) SIM card at all. Not until Amazon strike a deal with Telco in Singapore, you cannot do that.

      4. If you can buy the books successfully, and transfer the books via USB. No you don’t need to pay extra charges.

      Hope it helps and enjoy !!

      Check out here for other related posts


  2. Thanks Michael.

    I tried your other method of buying Kindle ebook (US version) without hiding the IP address. It didn’t work (maybe because I don’t have a credit card with US postal address).

    My Kindle 2 International is being shipped to Singapore. Do we still need to register it via Whispernet or it was automatically registered under my account when Amazon shipped it out?



    1. Hi Andy,

      That’s always the confusing part … there are two registrations. The first one is tie your Kindle to your Amazon account “logically”, when you bought your Amazon, this registration should have been done (unless you bought it as a gift). That registration allows you to buy books for the Kindle.

      The second registration is to register the hardware device to Amazon, and you can do it only with the Kindle (with wireless turn on) and Whispernet. And in your case, since Whispernet is not yet available in Singapore, you need to do it when you back in HK.

      Hope it helps.


  3. Thanks Michael.

    Given that I prefer to avoid the Whispernet charges / get wider selection of & cheaper Kindle ebooks, I’ll buy US Kindle ebooks via Internet using computer and then transfer them to the Kindle 2 International. So, do I lose any feature (or anything that I can’t do) with the Kindle 2 International if I were not doing the second registration (i.e. registering the hardware device)?

    Btw, your blog is really good…and the information that you have provided is invaluable. Thanks again.


    1. Hi Andy,

      Glad you found the information useful. The main thing you cannot do with the Whispernet turned off (you need to do that anyway, in Singapore) are: 1 – no more WhisperSync among Kindle, Kindle for iPhone and Kindle for PC; 2 – you cannot do shopping with your Kindle (that’s not an issue since you can always do it with your PC); 3 – you cannot upgrade the firmware automatically (you can do it manually though); 4 – you cannot get the other documents via Whispernet (e.g. you can send an PDF to your Kindle wirelessly; but again you can do it with USB cable …).

      I think that’s about it. Hope it helps.


  4. Just some info from a fellow international kindle 2 user: I found I couldn’t get any 3G coverage on mine in Hong Kong despite the amazon coverage map showing full 3G coverage for HK. The solution was to go to the settings page (with wireless already on) and type in 311 on the keyboard: a page will appear allowing you to select a provider and Smartone 3G seems to work great for me 🙂


  5. Thanks for this information.

    I am a US based customer preparing to travel to Europe. I understand the Kindle part, but have a question about the iPhone Kindle app and any international data roaming charges that would be associated with whispersync: Do I have to activate international data roaming on my iPhone to get this to work? Do the outrageous international data roaming fees apply?


    1. Dear Paul,

      In your case, I think you shall turn off data roaming in your iPhone (“Settings” / “General ” / “Network”) and turn on Wi-Fi in hotspot areas to download books and synchronize. Not very convenient but better than paying the expensive roaming fee.

      My two cents and hope it helps.


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