updated 11:10 am EDT, Sat May 29, 2010
Leak has new Kindle a cautious update
First details of the next-generation Kindle may have been given away in a rumor late Friday. A pair of sources claim it will be a safe update that will be thinner and carry a faster, higher-resolution E Ink display. It should ship in August but won't, however, have color or a touchscreen.
Bloomberg's sources didn't confirm any design traits, including whether or not the black Kindle DX-like design was indicative of the new model or a Kindle at all.
The lack of a direct response to the iPad isn't considered a surprise, as Amazon wouldn't have had a significant amount of time to build a full product in response to Apple's tablet. It would have been conceived more to fight traditional or semi-traditional readers like the Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader, where advanced displays are often secondary at most.
Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has already stressed that the Kindle wouldn't copy the iPad as it's a reading-focused device. Recent acquisitions and hiring nonetheless hints that Amazon may at least try to offer comparable features, as it may add LCDs and Wi-Fi to future models and has bought a multi-touch firm.
It remains too soon to tell whether the iPad is significant enough of a threat to the Kindle for Amazon to change its strategy. Small-scale surveys have shown some lost market share, but the iPad's $499 minimum asking price and its less eyestrain-resistant LCD may leave Amazon with a comparatively secure market.