On the off chance you haven’t already read about this elsewhere, we figured it would be prudent to mention the fact that Amazon has just announced a press conference that’ll be taking place at 10:30 a.m. PST on Thursday, September 6, at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, Calif.

On its website, the 35,000-square-foot Barker Hanger (pictured at right, during Sanrio’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2010) markets itself as being “host to some of the most exclusive events in Southern California.”

And although the invitation sent from Amazon to members of the media was mysteriously vague on what, exactly, will be discussed or unveiled during the event, it seems obvious enough that Amazon is planning for a very large crowd. A similarly large announcement, we suspect, will almost certainly be the highlight of the conferentce.

Personally, I’m hoping the announcement will have something to do with Amazon’s rumored iPhone-killer, although the general consensus among the tech bloggerati is a bit more meh: Most insiders assume Amazon’s long-anticipated next generation Kindle Fire will be unveiled at the Hanger.

According to John Paczkowski of AllThingsD:

“Sources familiar with Amazon’s plans [have told him] that the company hopes to debut the next iteration of the Kindle Fire in the second half of this year; the current launch window is late in the third quarter. To do so, Amazon has been approaching developers to bring them up to speed on the new hardware.”   

John also says that “developers familiar with the device have been instructed to build their apps for a display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, which is a bit different than the 1024 x 600 display of the current Kindle Fire. Not only will that apparently make it sharper and more vibrant, it will give it a different aspect ratio, as well.” (Including “a 67 percent increase in total pixels.”)

Just to be perfectly clear, those details are technically hearsay. But assuming they are accurate (and for the record, we assume they are), and assuming the price on these supposed units is right, I do believe I’ll be adding another item to my Amazon Wish List sometime in the very near future. (On September 7, perhaps?)


  1. I agree with devini, and would add that I would rather see an update to the Kindle Touch (ie something similar to the glowing Nook) than a 10-inch tablet that is a total PITA to carry around (I’m thinking of *you* iPad !!!).

  2. EInk devices have hardly progressed in the four years or so since the Kindle 1 came out.

    If all we get from the 4th generation Kindle EInk is a glowy screen I’m going to be sorely disappointed and probably switch to a tablet.

    How about higher screen resolution and a slightly bigger screen? How about faster refresh so you can browse more naturally? How about better contrast? I sure would like text that is black on an off-white background rather than the crappy dark gray on light gray that we have now.

    I’ve been a huge proponent of EInk readers. But the 3rd gen Kindle is only incrementally improved over the 1st. If I don’t see something exciting from Amazon I’ll just dump EInk since it seems to be dead in the water technologically.

  3. It’s still better for reading (super light-weight, much longer battery life, can be read in bright sunlight). As long as a tablet does not offer these advantages, there will hopefully always be a market for eink.

    I agree, though, it would be great to have a better contrast (black on white… I am not even daring to hope), or a thin flexible (rollable, like a scroll) color eink display even!

  4. I agree that EInk still has advantages for purely reading. It is wonderful in bright light, outdoors or indoors during the day.

    But the low contrast can be really painful in dim light. And the slow page refresh rate and crappy 800×600 screen resolution were fine three generations ago but long overdue for upgrade.

    The main difference is that tablets are improving by leaps and bounds while EInk is standing still.

  5. Personally I hope the progress of eReaders is a major drop in price to enable more people to be able to afford them. The screens are totally fine as they are, though if a proper electronics company had been producing them they would work a lot faster by now.

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