updated 10:50 am EST, Tue January 27, 2009
Amazon Feb 9 Event
Amazon today said it would hold a press event on February 9th at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. The online retailer doesn't provide details as to what will appear at the event but is widely expected to be launching the second generation Kindle at the gathering given the location and timing; the original sold out in late 2008 and isn't set to come back on sale until the early part of 2009.
The Kindle 2 has been described as an iPod mini-like overhaul to the original reader with a smaller, more rounded and more ergonomic design with a directional pad instead of a touchstrip and more comfortable keys. Most also expect the new Kindle to continue shipping with free 3G cellular access for downloading books and viewing websites but to shed the SD card slot for built-in flash memory.
An update to the hardware may be essential for Amazon, which has had to struggle for wider acceptance of the Kindle even with endorsement from Oprah Winfrey and now faces additional pressure from newer e-book readers as well as e-book apps for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch.