image The Kindle 2 didn’t materialize last month.

But how about early Q1 of ’09? That’s the current prediction from TechCrunch’s sources.

What is it about Jeff Bezos and aesthetics? Going by the leaked photo, the new Kindle is to be a longer, thinner version of the current e-reader—in other words, just a variant of the famous adding-machine look.

And speaking more practically, the screen-to-case ratio will be far from optimal, and the text-background contrast doesn’t look so great, either. Maybe that’s because Jeff really sees the Kindle as more of a buying machine than a reading machine and values an improved keyboard more than a larger screen. The better to key in orders for garden hoses someday, not just best-sellers?

The positives

But that’s ok. The TeleBlog’s Paul Biba loves his Kindle, and I know that many others out there do, too, Oprah included. Besides, TechCrunch says a larger-screened student version of the K machine is on the way. And the better keyboard could lead to more interactivity. Now if only Jeff will do ePub. What’s more, he’d do well to heed TechCrunch’s advice and think about licensing out the basic technology, so that other companies can more nimbly exploit it.

Related:  MobileRead discussion, as well as Boy Genius Report and the Silicon Alley Insider, which says the Kindle is sold out through Christmas.

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  1. What I still wonder is, why Amazon doesn’t leverage the Kindle ‘platform’ to sell more kindle-editions on non-Kindle hardware?

    People love the convenience of grabbing sample chapters and buying and downloading a book that strikes their fancy; but I see many criticisms of the hardware, chief among them the generally dogginess of the eInk screen, the high price, and the ease with which you can accidentally change pages just picking up or carrying the thing around.

    So, why not offer us who lack the Kindle the chance to buy Amazon Kindle editions? A reader for a laptop, another for the smartphone.

    Is it because Amazon doesn’t feel comfortable as yet in completely displacing publishers? Or is this in the plans down the road?

    Even authors who want to publish their own works in the Kindle platform can’t see what their kindle-editions will look like, without shelling out the money for the hardware.

    Apple tries to keep a vertical integration because they make their money off the hardware. But it’s hard to believe that Amazon makes that much on the Kindle when you consider the fees they must be paying for the wireless bandwidth. They stand to make a lot more, in the long run, as a publisher of Kindle editions.

  2. Please, why would you listen to TechCrunch on this? They haven’t been right about any of their Kindle predictions yet – and the picture, come on – I’ll believe it when I see it.

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