Amazon has quietly dumped Sprint as its carrier for the most recent versions of the Kindle 2. Instead, Amazon's e-book reader will be backed by AT&T's 3G network. A spokesperson for Amazon simply says that, "Due to strong customer demand for the new Kindle with U.S. and international wireless, we are consolidating our family of 6-inch Kindles." The move follows a recent $20 price cut for the Kindle 2, prompted by the launch of Barnes & Noble's "Nook" e-reader, which also makes use of AT&T's network.

Amazon introduced the first-generation Kindle in 2007, and earlier this year the company launched the Kindle 2 as well as the Kindle DX, a big-screen reader -- all of which have been powered by Sprint and exclusive to the US. This month, Amazon rolled out an international version of the Kindle 2, which uses AT&T's network instead of Sprint's. "Now that they are selling a Kindle overseas, it makes sense for them to have just one product that they can sell in all markets," notes Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin.

Kindles already in circulation won't be affected, however, and will continue to utilize Sprint's US network. New sales of the Kindle DX will also remain with Sprint, as Amazon has not yet introduced it to the international market.