image Two new Kindles are on the way if CrunchGear is right:

—"The first is an updated version with the same sized screen, a smaller form factor, and an improved interface. The source told us that Amazon has ‘skipped three or four generations,’ comparing the old Kindle to the 1st gen iPod and the new version to something like the sexy iPod Mini." It’s to show up "around October 2008."

—"The second new model, which is shaped like an 8 1/2 x 11-inch piece of paper, is considerably bigger than the current model and should be available next year."

The Kindle 2.0s will come in a variety of colors. Drawing is CrunchGear’s.

The format issue

No word from CrunchGear on whether the new Kindles will render ePub natively, but ideally Amazon will learn from what’s happening on the iPhone front. Dream on, huh? But you never know. Recently Amazon has been asking publishers to do formatting that would make things a bit more ePublike.

Meanwhile keep in mind I’m just repeating what CrunchGear said. I vaguely recall Jeff Bezos giving us the impression that 2.0 wouldn’t be with us very soon. So now he does the opposite?

Angry current owners if rumor’s true?

If Jeff has misled us, perhaps  it’s because of people like Adam, a CrunchGear commenter, who says: "Are you serious? I just bought one. I think I’ll return it, as I bet the new interface will be much, much improved. I’m a regular early adopter, and used to accepting the reality of improved models, but this is just too expensive of a device to be screwed over on, in my opinion!"

So what do you think? Does the CrunchGear report seem true? If so, will Amazon significantly lower existing Kindle prices? And just how low must the prices of old Kindles drop before you’ll buy one? Or are you about to, already, regardless of the above rumors?

Related: Google News roundup.


  1. I just ordered a Kindle for my wife less than 4 hours ago. Two hours after ordering I saw this rumor. Of course it’s already too late to cancel the order since Amazon does this clever insta-processing of your order.

    Kindle is a very difficult purchase to justify at the price. The deciding factor was my wife’s desire for control over text size. Oh well, I believe I have 30 days to return it. I’ll stick a few free ebooks on it and, if we don’t completely love it, it’s going back.

    But, after my last move, I’m very tired of lugging around mountains of paper books. My new plan is to check paper books out of the library while slowly building a personal ebook collection for the future. My guess is that Kindle 2.0 will make this a lot easier than Kindle 1.0.

  2. The old rule always was that you don’t buy a 1.0 or the first model of any car. That is, unless you have a good reason.
    I have a Kindle because of travel and being in other countries where I don’t read the language all that well. It’s fine; I’ll keep it. Someday I’ll replace it, but there’s no need to do so in the near future. It has been invaluable to me for these few months, well worth the price and the avoidance of the books available at airports, etc. I’m reading books I’ve long wanted to read but which were too heavy to take along on a trip — such as the whole works of Mark Twain. That doesn’t mean that I’m not reading Ted Sorensen’s book or mysteries or whatever, but it does mean that I have more choices while traveling and being elsewhere. And you can get free books that work on the Kindle too. Yes, it was expensive, but it was worth it in my case.

    If there’s a newer, better Kindle at Christmastime, will I consider getting them for my children? Quite possibly. Will I resent their having a later model? No. Mine’s fine.

  3. >>>My new plan is to check paper books out of the library while slowly building a personal ebook collection for the future.

    Welcome to the club! I’ve been there for years.

    Amazon will have to get it down to $199 to have a breakthrough success. They just might do that. But would I buy it? No.

  4. Angry — yes and no. They seem to be following Apple on this. Why fix what’s wrong with the existing model, even when it could be fixed, when you can just sell them next year’s model.

    I wouldn’t be angry except that some of the features I’m sure will show up in the sequel are so obvious. On my Kindle I have about 1,000 books, and yet I can’t create categories and the file them which is just frigging elementary and something Mobipocket has had forever. That could be fixed with a software update, but I’m betting it will only appear in the new model.

    I guess we have to get used the idea that even when we’re talking about hardware, everything’s always in beta.

  5. BTW, the one thing that doesn’t make any sense here is the large 8 1/2 x 11 Kindle. Who would want that? The Kindle is right at the point where if it were any larger it would be unwieldy to take with you. I’m glad to see their shrinking the original Kindle about, but can’t imagine there’s a market for giant Kindles.

  6. An e-reader with an A4/letter size screen would be useful to many people, Brian, because many people don’t see pocketability as a major plus. They either have purses or briefcases or backpacks that could easily hold a larger reader, or they just don’t need portability much. I don’t get out much at all, and I use an e-reader.

  7. I think the A4/letter size would be great for pdf’d technical/repair manuals or parts reference guides – documents that are not just straight text.

    It would also be great for a lot of nonfiction books. I bought an SQL training book for my Kindle that turned out to be somewhat less than useful. The example tables in the original book were converted into graphic images which were barely legible or not at all legible.

    Would also be nice for graphic novels.

  8. The 8 1/2 x 11 model would be wonderful. According to the rumor it would be Kindle 3.0 and not due until next year. But I imagine the screen would be touch sensitive so very little would be required except the screen and a thin bezel.

    And 8 1/2 x 11 would finally make pdfs usable on an ebook reader – even those that have a great deal of diagrams, illustrations and code samples. Sounds like my ideal future ebook reader.

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