New Amazon Kindle rumored for August launch

Bloomberg has learned that Amazon plans to release its latest version of the popular Kindle e-reader this August, with several new changes expected for the device.

According to two people close to the company, the new e-reader will have a thinner design and a screen that offers a better picture than the current generation model.  The current Kindle weighs just 10.2 ounces, which is lighter than most paperback books, so it’s curious that Amazon plans to release an even thinner model.

New Amazon Kindle rumored for August launch

The latest model will not have a touchscreen or be color reflective, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently stating the company is still a ways away from launching a color Kindle.  A major advantage the Kindle has over competing products is related to the use of e-ink technology, which is more energy efficient than other alternatives.

The new Kindle likely isn’t meant as a response to the growing popularity of the iPad, however, with Amazon seeking to stay in the lead in the dedicated e-reader device market, as Sony and others continue to release competing products.

“It’s probably likely that Amazon already had this one in mind, more out of a response to Sony than out of any response to Apple,” said James McQuivey, Forrester Research analyst, in a statement to Bloomberg.

It’s good to see Amazon realize that it has numerous competitors to deal with in the market now, as the e-tailer has to deal with multiple e-readers and tablet devices.  Amazon purchased a company earlier in the year that specializes in multitouch panels, but Bezos has said that he plans to keep the Kindle away from the tablet market.

Furthermore, I think it’s good to see that Bezos is not hurrying out a new Kindle model with subpar technology.  If the company wants to eventually offer more advanced features in the e-reader, it wants to ensure the technology is prepared and ready for launch. But who knows, perhaps the new Kindle version will also pack a few new surprises at launch.