FALSE ALARM: Looks Like Amazon AU Might Not Actually Launch Until 2018

WELP. This is turning into a bit of a non-event. After Amazon Australia seemingly prepped itself to throw their virtual doors open to local customers in time for Black Friday-related sales, the online giant’s long-awaited antipodean expansion has been remarkably silent. And now there’s a fair-to-good chance that local shoppers won’t be able to fill their online carts until well into the new year.

We’d previously reported about how Amazon had sent warnings to retailers, urging them to prepare for imminent orders as they move into a soft-launch/testing phase. That process has been remarkably guarded, with little-if-any information available as to who exactly is involved in the process or how your average consumer could put their hand up to help out.

As of today, the site’s main Amazon.com.au frontpage remains the standard Kindle-based book retailer that it’s been since seemingly the dawn of time.

A new report from Lifehacker suggests that the reason for the delay has been entirely technical, and the issues are so great that the launch could be pushed back to 2018.

The testing phase at Amazon Australia has reportedly encountered calculation errors, leading to the delay in rollout of its Australian operations.

Market research firm Kantar Retail now expects Amazon to hold off its Australian launch until 2018, unless it happens to fling the doors open unexpectedly within the next week.

The firm’s managing director Jason Mahoney is said to have told an industry conference in Melbourne over the weekend of Amazon’s issues with its backend, along with his expectation that, unless they go live in the next week in time for the last gasps of Christmas, then the start of the new year is a more realistic launch timeframe.

‘Course this is all speculation at best for the time being; Amazon has been notoriously tight-lipped on their planned Australian operations and likely won’t release any official statement until such time as they are fully open for business.

Still, put the ole’ credit card back in the wallet for the moment, mates. The waiting game continues.