Amazon Unveils Kindle 3

Jim Milliot -- July 28th, 2010

Amazon has added to its Kindle family, developing a new version that is smaller, lighter, and faster than the current device. While the updated 3G wireless edition will continue to sell for $189, Amazon has added a Wi-Fi only unit that it will sell for $139. Both units will be available Aug. 27, and can now be pre-ordered here.

In addition to offering the new devices in the U.S. both will be sold in the U.K. through the Amazon.co.uk, the first time the company has offered the device through its U.K. site. To accompany the U.K. rollout, Amazon will launch the U.K. Kindle store that will include over 400,000 U.K. e-books.

Despite competition form the iPad and other multi-functional devices, Amazon remains convinced there is a place for dedicated e-readers. “The market is even bigger than we thought,” said Russ Grandinetti, v-p of Kindle content about the size of the e-reader audience. He reiterated statements made by Amazon last week that since the company lowered the price of the Kindle to $189 sales have accelerated.

Grandinetti said the changes incorporated into the new Kindle—improved screen contrast, a 21% reduction in body size while keeping the six-inch screen, lighter weight (8.7 ounces) and faster page turns—were made in the features that matter most to consumers. Those changes coupled with the low price “should give another push to consumers looking to move from print to digital.” Grandinetti said.

He said improvements to the Kindle will help books compete with other digital activities. “Our goal is to get people to read more often,” Grandinetti said. Amazon’s statistic, Grandinetti said, show that customers who purchase a Kindle buy 3.3 times as many books of all kinds after purchasing the device compared to before the purchase. Grandinetti said he believes very soon there will be a growing number “of multiple Kindle homes.” Grandinetti also predicted that with e-book sales already surpassing hardcover at Amazon, the format will pass paperback at some point relatively soon.

3 thoughts on “Amazon Unveils Kindle 3

  1. keith dye

    Concerning the Kindle 3:
    Can you explain why Amazon ditched the numbers keys on the Kindle 3? If they have retained them, where are they?
    Thanks,
    KD

  2. Mike Perry

    Amazon’s finally got a reader that appeals to my sense of style/features and almost reached my $99 price. I just wish they’d expand a bit beyond the ‘this is a book reader.’ Synching with iCal or Google Calendar would add features at no real cost and there really ought to be a better way to move documents on/off it than fake email and manual USB file transfers. For Macs, I’d suggest a send to iPad option in the Print menu. Only when that exists will the Kindle really be replacing paper.

    Oh, and it’d be great if it’d sych with Instapaper in a way that didn’t incur charges. I read a lot of articles that way, so any charge quickly adds up to too much, particularly since reading them via WiFi synch costs me nothing on my iPod touch.

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