The U.K. magazine PC Pro this week published a blog post explaining why the Kindle edition doesn’t include photos. The problem is that Amazon charges publishers a variable fee based on how much 3G wireless bandwidth it takes to deliver an issue, so the bigger the file size, the more the publisher pays to deliver it over Whispernet:
Each issue of [PC Pro] has somewhere around 75 new reviews — each with a picture — plus dozens more articles and features. An issue of PC Pro with around 150 separate articles, and 100 photos would likely incur delivery costs of 50p-60p an issue.
Of course, even customers who use Whispernet have to pay for it, so this isn’t just a problem for publishers. It does, however, partly explain why those Kindle editions of newspapers and magazines tend to lack many visuals. (Rights issues also sometimes come into play, but that’s a different topic.)