updated 10:20 pm EDT, Fri October 3, 2008
Amazon Kindle 2 Leak
Amazon's second-generation Kindle reader has already surfaced in a new leak to BGR this evening and promises to solve many of the first-run issues with the e-book device, which was nicknamed the "iPod of reading" in its first generation. The new model appears to have a similarly sized, high visibility e-paper screen as the original but has the promised rounder styling, albeit in a slightly larger form; this extends to the narrower but taller keyboard and iPhone-like metal back with conspicuous grills for speaker vents.
More practical but also controversial changes have also been made to the new device, the shots reveal. The revamped Kindle drops the unique touch strip on the side, which was used to select menu items, and replaces it with a more conventional joystick. It also abandons removable SD storage entirely in favor of about 1.5GB of built-in flash memory good for holding most book collections. Mini USB replaces the proprietary cable from before and makes it easier to charge or transfer content directly to the Kindle.
New control paddles eliminate common complaints that the original reader was overly prone to accidental page turns.
The Kindle continues to get access to most books through a Sprint-based EVDO connection that is likely to be free to use for Kindle buyers.
No launch information accompanies the leak, though past rumors have pointed to the second-generation Kindle arriving in early 2009 with a larger, magazine-like version due sometime later. The escaped details come just as the Kindle faces increased competition from rivals as well as its indirect inspiration, Apple. While Sony has introduced a new touchscreen Reader and iRex has launched a new wireless series, downloads of the recent Stanza app for the iPhone have reportedly outnumbered Kindle owners despite the hardware's smaller screen and shorter battery life.