New, Third Generation Kindle Promises to Strengthen Amazon’s Leadership Position

New Kindle

We all knew the ball was firmly in Amazon’s court. The question was what kind of response were the iPads and Nooks of the world going to force out of Kindle’s creator.  The answer is out! Amazon has released the new Kindle, available for the first time in a Wi-Fi only version, as well as in the more traditional 3G version.

And from what we can tell at this point in time, Amazon’s response is impressive. Instead of being swayed down the flashy path by the iPad, Amazon has stuck to making the new Kindle all about reading.

First the facts; The Wi-Fi only version is available for $139 and the Wi-Fi + 3G version is priced at $189. The new sleek design is 21% smaller in size and 15% lighter, while retaining the same 6” size reading area. The storage capacity has been double to 4GB and the battery is expected to last for a whole month without Wi-Fi (10 days with Wi-Fi). A new black color option should unearth new fans, while a new high-contrast E-Ink, touted to provide 50% better contrast than any other e-reader, should make reading even more enjoyable than before. The device is available for pre-order now, and will be shipped Aug. 27th.

Obviously, the price is the most notable aspect. At $139, the Wi-Fi only version is cheaper than the Wi-Fi only Nook. While this is sure to put the other e-reader manufacturers into a tizzy, it also opens up the possibility of households with multiple Kindles. Smaller bookshelves anyone?

The other notable aspect is Amazon’s decision to not make a multipurpose device out of the Kindle, especially in the post-iPad era. It is a bold choice and perhaps one that will set Amazon up for a long term leadership position in the e-reader market. Speaking on the topic, Jeff Bezos said:

“As far as e-books go, our point of view is that reading can be made better with a purpose-built device”

When it comes to serious reading, other multimedia capabilities can only be a big distraction. No arguments there. And Amazon recognizes that Kindle’s long term success lies in catering to serious readers.

Source: AP

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