Although some parties thought the eReader would fall by the
wayside when the iPad hit shelves, Amazon is making an emphatic statement to
the contrary. The online retailer has unveiled a new, upgraded Kindle device as
well as a new lower-priced model.
The new Kindle, like the old one, boasts a 6-inch screen,
but uses a newer type of e-Ink – the same that’s used in the high-end Kindle DX
device. It’s also 21 percent smaller, has twice as much storage (4 GB) and
Amazon says it has an improved battery life as well.
The 3G version, which has been the standard for Kindles,
will sell for $189 – but Amazon also unveiled a Wi-Fi only version of the
device, which costs just $139 – further escalating the price wars started by
Barnes & Noble in the eReader space.
Most observers expected something new from Amazon when the
Kindle “sold out” on the company’s home page earlier this week. The device has
been an unmitigated hit for Amazon – and eBooks have helped rejuvenate the
publishing industry recently.
Author Stieg Larsson’s books have topped 1 million sold on
Amazon – and the company claims that it sells more Kindle versions of books
than it does hardcovers. CEO Jeff Bezos told USA Today in an interview
that he expects the format to top paperback sales in 9-12 months.