updated 09:45 am EDT, Tue August 26, 2008
Kindle Update Rumors
The second generation of Amazon's Kindle is not only near but will represent a major overhaul of the kind Apple has previously given to its iPods, says a source purportedly aware of the revisions and speaking to BusinessWeek. The direct replacement for the existing six-inch Kindle is described as thinner, more attractive and having a better screen than even the nearly year-old e-book reader and is likened to what would have happened if Apple had skipped from its first-run iPod to the iPod mini in a single update.
"They’ve jumped from Generation One to Generation Four or Five," the insider claims, adding that the overly large buttons and some user interface changes have also been made.
The scoop also allegedly confirms rumors that a larger-screened Kindle is due "in the coming months" and would be targeted at education, where students often read larger textbooks instead of the novels and other small-form content Amazon's device is built for as of today.
Price is also said to be a critical factor and may drop from today's $360 to as little as $299 or even $249 for the standard Kindle, the magazine says. The shift would again mirror Apple's experience, where a near-$400 price deterred more casual buyers but drops to $299 and below quickly accelerated sales.
No mention is made of whether or not Amazon will make any changes to the Kindle's free 3G connection, which has been touted as its selling point but has been limited to US-based EVDO networks and so won't work in Canada, Europe, or most other areas not serviced by Sprint.