May 16th, 2012
Believe it or not, now there’s even more rumors about Amazon’s next Kindle. Within 10 weeks, Amazon will release a “front-lit” touchscreen Kindle, according to Reuters. They cite a source “who has seen the prototype” and has “direct knowledge” of Amazon’s plans. Yes, it’ll probably drain your battery a little faster, but there’s a real demand for it, a technology analyst tells the news organization. And it’s just one of many interesting new rumors emering about Amazon’s next Kindles
Ironically, their source also contradicts an earlier rumor. Just last weekend the technology blogs claimed that Amazon was already ordering parts for a color E-Ink Kindle — but the article from Reuters is reporting very different information. “The source said that there was very little chance of Amazon launching one this year. Though Amazon has held can talks with E Ink, the companies haven’t reached any concrete decisions yet, he said.” And they’ve tracked down another on-the-record source — an analyst who tracks the supply chains for electronic components — who had doubts about the last color E-ink parts that they’d seen in October. To be used on a mass scale, they’d require more refinements, he told the news organization on Tuesday, adding pointedly that “I doubt if the color Kindle is ready for a launch.”
Besides, Amazon already has their color, touchscreen tablets, the Kindle Fire, and Amazon also has some new plans for that product line, according to Reuters. According to their source, Amazon is planning a larger version of the tablet — its screen will measure 8.9 inches diagonally — but they won’t release it until later in 2012, when it’s closer to the big Christmas shopping season. Of course, it’s hard to know where the Kindle is really going just from reading predictions in newspapers. Each one seems to have small bits of information — which sometimes contradict each other!
For example, the sales of the Kindle Fire are actually slumping, according to one source. “Amazon wasn’t able to sustain its tablet sales momentum during the first quarter…” reports eWeek, noting that after the big burst of Christmas sales, Amazon’s share of the tablet market for the next three months “fell from nearly 17 percent…to just above 4 percent.” The statistics come from the technology analysts at IDC, whose figures suggest that in the first three months of 2012, where Apple sold 11.8 million iPads, Amazon sold about 700,000 Kindle Fire tablets.
Of course, maybe the larger screen will improve the sales of Amazon’s color tablets. Or maybe there’ll be a surge in new owners for the E-Ink Kindles, if the front-lighting turns out to be surprisingly popular. A columnist at Forbes magazine even suggests that Amazon might eventually end up selling their ebooks to Nook owners! When you’re talking about the future, anything is possible.
That’s one of the fun things about being part of the Kindle revolution…