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Old 05-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
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Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47417625...h_and_gadgets/

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Amazon.com Inc will launch new versions of its Kindle e-reader and tablet, including a monochrome e-reader with front lighting, a source who has seen the prototype told Reuters.

The world's largest Internet retailer is aiming to have the new e-reader in stores in July, said the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter but asked not to be named because Amazon has not yet made the decision public.

Amazon has been ramping up production of the new Kindle, which will run on E Ink's display, the source said.

Amazon's Kindle e-reader has been popular, but readers have had to buy an external light to attach to the device to read in the dark. The front light eliminates that problem.

"I do see demand for a front-lit Kindle," said Jennifer Colegrove, Vice President of Emerging Display Technologies at DisplaySearch, an NPD Group company, which monitors trends in the display sector.

There is a trade-off, she said: "Front-lit will consume battery power and (it'll) run out ... quicker."

Amazon also plans to launch a new tablet closer to the holiday season later this year, the source said. The new Kindle Fire is expected to have a bigger diagonal display of 8.9 inches, bringing it closer in size to Apple Inc's iPad. The company did not respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

"We don't comment on our customers' launch plans," said Sri Peruvemba, Chief Marketing Officer for E Ink Holdings, the supplier of Kindle's ePaper technology.

"E Ink is an innovator and for the past 10 years, we have consistently delivered new products, major enhancements to existing products, and unique designs, so it is not surprising that there is constant speculation about what we will do next," said Peruvemba.

While Barnes & Noble was the first to market with a glowing e-reader, there has been speculation about Amazon being a close second.

Amazon will launch the new Kindle e-reader in the touch 3G and touch wi-fi versions, the source said.

"They can afford to add a front light because the component is not very expensive and their display otherwise uses very little energy," said Colegrove.

An increase of about $10 above the current prices should be "quite reasonable," she said.

The source said Amazon was likely to keep prices the same, or raise them by a very small margin, if at all.

Some blogs had speculated on the possibility of a color-equipped e-reader, but the source said that there was very little chance of Amazon launching one this year. Though Amazon has held can talks with E Ink, the companies haven't reached any concrete decisions yet, he said.

Vinita Jakhanwal, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, which tracks electronic component supply chains, said when she looked at the color e-paper product in a trade show in October, that it needed "a lot of technological improvements" to be used in a products in large volumes.

"I doubt if the color Kindle is ready for a launch," she said.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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So lighted Kindle in July, larger Fire at Christmas, no color e-ink any time soon. I think that deals with most of the rumors.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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I'm hoping there will also be a non-touch model with the front light.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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Based on the article, it looks like nope. I would hope that they added buttons to the touch model to go with the light but it does not seem to be the case.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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I was going to say that as long as it is a touch version, I am in.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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I only hope the new Touch will not suffer the same contrast problems as the NGL.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
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Sounds like they're just slapping some glow on the existing touches. I really wish they'd ditch the glass substrate since reading in bed=occasionally dropping (at least for me).

Not gonna buy something that's destined to break
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
I only hope the new Touch will not suffer the same contrast problems as the NGL.
Unlikely. Anything you add to the screen will decrease the contrast.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
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I have no plans to buy another e-reader within the next year, but when I do replace my Kindle Keyboard 3G I will definitely consider one with a built-in light if it really is just $10 more. I would prefer to have a device with physical page-turn buttons, though.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:56 PM   #10
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What is the difference of Glowlight and Flex Lighting?

I think Nook is using Glowlight.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #11
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I think glow light is the same thing as flex light but Amazon cannot use glow light because BN is using the term.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:23 PM   #12
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From what I've read of Amazon's approach, it's more efficient than B&N's. The Touch Glowlight uses 8 LEDs, whereas Kindle's (they may have licensed the Flex Light, but I'm not sure) uses one or two LEDs. The advantage is that it'd drain the battery less than the Nook--the Nook's battery life is halved when the light is being used.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:38 PM   #13
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I've been looking forward to an integrated light, but I just realized a potential drawback over the external light. With my K3 I can turn on the light even in complete darkness by pulling it out by feel, but if they don't have a button to turn it on how would you use it without some initial light to get started?

[quick search before posting] Looks like the nook toggles the feature by holding the home button... maybe my concern is overblown... hopefully B&N doesn't hold a patent on that feature. :-)
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:49 PM   #14
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I just hope they improve the Touch capability. I really think the Kindle e-readers have gone downhill since they moved away from Kindle Keyboard.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #15
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I'll be buying a lit Touch 3G. My current Touch will be my backup.
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