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Amazon to launch large-screen Kindle this week?

updated 07:40 am EDT, Mon May 4, 2009

Amazon Large Kindle Soon

Amazon could be on the verge of launching a large-screen Kindle that would be key to saving large newspapers, a possibly last-minute leak has said on Monday. The online retailer is purported by the New York Times to be introducing a larger e-book reader ideally sized for magazines, newspapers and other large-format text. Its suitability is such that the Times itself is rumored to be a key part of the introduction, though a newspaper spokeswoman declines to comment despite the Times being the origin of the rumor itself.

No technical features have been mentioned, but the device could be ready to show as early as this week.

Recent rumors have had Amazon improving the Kindle formula more aggressively than it has in the past. One production rumor would have a large touchscreen Kindle shipped sometime before the end of 2009; the advancement would let Amazon create a large-screen reader without having to add bulk through a dedicated keyboard or most other button controls.

The timing of any possible new reader may be decisive for Amazon, as it comes as even larger newspapers are either going strictly digital, such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or like the Boston Globe are threatened with complete shutdowns. Recent, unofficial cost breakdowns have determined that it's potentially less expensive to give every subscriber an e-book reader like a Kindle than to maintain newspaper production and distribution. Publishing giant Hearst has been looking to develop a reader of its own for similar reasons.

Apple has also long been rumored in development of a large touchscreen tablet that could also fill a similar role, though it would likely use an LCD and so would be less suited to dedicated book reading than the Kindle's E Ink screen, whose lack of constant refresh is easier on eyes and consumes much less power.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If only...

    If only we could tranfer .pdf files ourselves without paying, what 15 cents per megabyte for Amazon to do it. Grrr.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And a good PDF render engine, international support, iTunes like content gathering, color, higher resolution, and real internet. I guess the 'perfect' device will be Apple's.

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You can

    Transfer PDF files for free. You only get charged if you have them sent wirelessly to your Kindle. You can also convert them yourself using the Mobireader application (which unfortunately is windoze only)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: PDF

    Well, since Apple doesn't make an eBook reader, I guess you'll be waiting a long time to get one...

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, they didn't make one directly, but there was a nice App on the iPhone/iTouch App Store, which apparently was good enough that Amazon bought it.

    So I think Amazon is already feeling threatened by Apple's presence, because they know that Apple is watching all these segments carefully.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: @testudo

    I don't think they were feeling threatened, since they had already made Kindle for the iPod/iPhone.

    And how does buying up an app that had an iPhone version (they also had a desktop client and I think other mobile clients) help them battle Apple and the iPhone? There's a bunch of eReaders for the iPhone, Amazon just bought one. At best it means Apple would need to buy another company and use their software, or be forced to write their own.

    But people who buy the Kindle are buying it because of what it is, how it works, and how it reads. They aren't looking for some full-featured "I can be everything!" device that the iPhone is trying for. It needs to be able to display text well, make it easy to read and easy to buy and browse books.

    Then again, if Apple made a book reader, they'd probably force you to buy your books through them, and then they'd have to meet certain requirements before they'll be allowed on the iBook (the new one, not the old one).

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