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Old 02-15-2020, 04:12 PM   #1
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Kindle 11th Gen: Rumours, Speculation, and Discussion

The latest flagship reader from Amazon, the Oasis 3, has an identical body to the 2017 model. Thus, the metal, asymmetrical 7" design will be three years old in 2020. I feel that Amazon and Kobo have been following each others' leads in terms of the implementation of features, with Kobo following Amazon in the shape of devices, while Amazon tried to keep up with Kobo with lighting colour temperature, and larger screen sizes.

What Amazon could do in 2020/2021:
  • larger screen: I would love this, but I don't think it seems likely.
  • plastic body: this would be great
  • USB-C: feel free to comment on this, but, I don't find it interesting, so I will not repeat discussions that have already taken place elsewhere.

Do you think there will be a new flagship e-reader in 2020/2021? What features do you think it will have; which would you like?

Last edited by Braid; 02-15-2020 at 07:50 PM. Reason: clarifying my USB-C comment
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:15 PM   #2
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I think it's quite possible an 11th gen line of kindles is still a couple years out.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I think it's quite possible an 11th gen line of kindles is still a couple years out.
Voyage: November 2014
Oasis 1: April 2016
Oasis 2: October 2017
Oasis 3: July 2019

The flagship readers have not had more than two years gap between them in recent years, as these dates from wikipedia indicate.

However, this does not mean that the releases will continue at that rate. The Oasis 1 had a rather controversial battery design which was (probably) incompatible with waterproofing; likewise, the Voyage had somewhat divisive hybrid buttons. Thus, one gets the sense that the rapid releases of new devices was an effect of Amazon trying out various features to see what works, culminating in the 2017 Oasis 2 design, a design so nice they released it twice. So, I agree with you that the new line of Kindles could be years away.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:46 PM   #4
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It does seem like the pace of innovation in eInk eReader hardware has significantly slowed. The last three big features in Kindle HW have been frontlight (in 2012), waterproof (2017) and whatever you want to call the Oasis 3's color-changing frontlight (2019).
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braid View Post
The latest flagship reader from Amazon, the Oasis 3, has an identical body to the 2017 model. Thus, the metal, asymmetrical 7" design will be three years old in 2020. I feel that Amazon and Kobo have been following each others' leads in terms of the implementation of features, with Kobo following Amazon in the shape of devices, while Amazon tried to keep up with Kobo with lighting colour temperature, and larger screen sizes.

What Amazon could do in 2020/2021:
  • larger screen: I would love this, but I don't think it seems likely.
  • plastic body: this would be great
  • USB-C: this will probably be implemented, but who cares? - some have concerns about the quality of cables; however, this is not a very interesting topic.

Do you think there will be a new flagship e-reader in 2020/2021? What features do you think it will have; which would you like?
While you may think the quality of USB-C cables is an interesting topic, it's one that can be very serious. How would you like to plug a Kindle with USB-C into your computer and have the computer and/or the Kindle short circuit or catch fire due to a faulty USB-C cable?

As for a new Kindle, a PW with an 8" screen might be a good idea. It would get rid of the cold body and the buttons.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
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It does seem like the pace of innovation in eInk eReader hardware has significantly slowed. The last three big features in Kindle HW have been frontlight (in 2012), waterproof (2017) and whatever you want to call the Oasis 3's color-changing frontlight (2019).
In terms of truly novel features, you are right that innovation has been slow. Improved contrast is the only real feature improvement of this type that comes to my mind, and I have no idea if/when that will happen.

However, I have a wider definition of innovation. I view the return of physical page-turn buttons as technological progress, even if it is a return to older technology. It is not that someone invented a new feature. Rather, I believe the designers changed their view about what the consumers wanted from their devices, resulting in an ergonomic improvement (of course, some view buttons as pointless). Likewise, the release of devices larger than 6" has been excellent progress in my view, even if it wasn't based on novel technology as such.

So, I am hopeful that the next flagship e-reader may have a new set of features or a new design, even if they are not based on brand new technology.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:02 PM   #7
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I think there are a couple of factors at play with respect to innovations. For one thing they're probably about as good as they can be with current technology. All of the improvements being discussed are trivial compared to the last major improvements, the front light and the touch screen. The type of USB won't affect our reading experience and page buttons please some people and probably most people don't care. If they did they'd pay extra to get them. That's why the Paperwhite has almost 10 times as many reviews as the Oasis.

The other factor is that more and more people are reading on phones and tablets so if there are fewer ereader sales that means slower development. Frankly I think they're all so good now there's not much to complain about.

We've gotten used to rapid improvements in technology, mostly because most of it is so new. But sometimes things get so good no real improvement is wanted or needed. Look at electric razors, for example. They keep getting better, I suppose, but does anyone really care? They're an older technology and they've become pretty stable.

I do most of my reading on my phone these days but I have the newest Paperwhite and if it lived in my shirt pocket it's what I'd be using. It's hard to imagine any serious improvements.

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Old 02-15-2020, 09:14 PM   #8
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Not a hardware change, but since we are discussing rumors and speculation, I noticed that the latest Kindle firmware release has some inactive coding for the start of a new user interface refresh. It is called Kindle++ or kpp internally.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:37 AM   #9
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I heard from a "very reliable source" that it's going to have color and support EPUB.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:21 AM   #10
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I heard from a "very reliable source" that it's going to have color and support EPUB.
Is this source "good"?

And as far as I can tell, kindle++, whatever it is, is unlikely to need new HW to work?
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:01 AM   #11
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Plastic substrate.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:37 AM   #12
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I heard from a "very reliable source" that it's going to have color and support EPUB.
That's a Kindle Fire, why would they do a dedicated Color ereader? Any passive Color display looks terribly poor in ambient light. If it's an active colour screen (not some sort of coloured eInk derivative) then the Amazon version of Android used in the current Fire models would be used.

The eink is a niche, most popular platform for ebooks is phones, followed by tablets. Likely Amazon sell more Fire Tablets than eink and Fire Tablets are a small part of Tablet market.

The vast majority of smartphone & tablet owners with eink readers probably are not interested in colour if it makes it worse. People won't pay more than a tablet price for a dedicated Colour ereader either.

Last edited by Quoth; 02-16-2020 at 08:45 AM. Reason: type passive
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:31 AM   #13
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We've gotten used to rapid improvements in technology, mostly because most of it is so new. But sometimes things get so good no real improvement is wanted or needed. Look at electric razors, for example. They keep getting better, I suppose, but does anyone really care? They're an older technology and they've become pretty stable.
Perhaps you are right. I wouldn't know about electric razors. However, what you have said certainly applies to button-phones (i.e. not smartphones). While battery, camera, memory, and processor technology continues to improve, none of this technology is incorporated into button-phones. The button-phones available near me can only store 200 text messages and 200 contact details. So, it seems button-phone manufacturers feel that their designs are as good as they will ever need to be.

However, it is not clear to me that we have reached that point with e-readers. Obviously I hope not.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:01 PM   #14
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It seems to me that we're pretty close to that point, at least.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:05 PM   #15
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I heard from a "very reliable source" that it's going to have color and support EPUB.
When was the Last time KOBO had a Tablet?

Tho I thought this thread was about Amazon....
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