A Kindle Voyage 2 is unlikely in 2015, but the game isn’t over. If you were putting off buying a new Voyage, you’re probably safe purchasing the original model now—even though Good E-Reader said last summer and several weeks ago that the 2 would show up this month.
I caught up by email with Good E-Reader editor Michael Kozlowski yesterday. His own theory is that Amazon has waited until after Black Friday to announce the new model so it won’t harm sales of the old amid all the promotional hype. That’s a reasonable hunch. Still, I doubt we’ll see a Voyage 2 this month or even in 2015. Remember, Amazon customers have 30 days to return purchases for 100 percent refunds. That would take us to late December, an unlikely time when you consider the Christmas market and the fact that Amazon has never unveiled a new Kindle model then.
My guess, not more than that, is that Amazon will release the 2 next year, assuming there is a successor to the original. How far into next year? Hard to say.
So was Michael or anyone else acting in bad faith in coming up with the November date? In fairness to him, companies delay or cancel projects all the time. I have asked him to get back to his anonymous sources. His response is that he would rather not bother the sources at present after having pestered them earlier. My reply is that he’d darn well better, and I’d encourage him to show them the very post I’m writing now.
Michael’s blog is included in Google News and is one of the world’s most popular e-book-related news sites, another reason I’ve bothered passing on the rumors despite his less than perfect prediction record. If he wants to remain in Google News, along with more august publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, he needs to safeguard his credibility. I’d hope that his sources would take a few minutes to whip off quick e-mails to update him. As a prospective Voyage 2 buyer myself, I’m really really rooting for Michael to be right despite my skepticism about this year.
For the benefit of latecomers, meanwhile, here’s the chronology:
—July 9: Good E-Reader says a new Kindle Voyage will show up in November. I treat the report as what it is—a “very plausible” rumor. Bear in mind the distinction between “plausible” and true. The idea is simply to let possible Voyage buyers decide for themselves after reading caveats. Tech is forward looking. The original Voyage appeared in late October 2014, and Amazon often updates models a year or so after release, so, based on this alone, we’re well within the realm of the possible, albeit a far cry from the certain. E Ink screens have not improved that much, and Michael has made the case that the real refinements this year will be from a speedier CPU. Responding to my query, Michael says: “Can’t divulge my sources, but there are two. Both come from the chipset side.”
—November 1: Michael follows up with what he says a reproduction of a message from an Amazon rep (below), telling a customer: “You can expect the release of Kindle Voyage 2 device in the month of November.” The next day, I again mention Good E-Reader’s reportage on the Voyage—while noting that a rep I talked to could or would not confirm the rumor. Adding to the fun, two TeleRead commenters (here and here) tell of contacting Amazon employees who say that, yes, a successor to the original Voyage is on the way. But no date is given.
—November 2 (added 11:10 a.m. November 24): I note that Amazon has marked down the Voyage by $30, but the headline still includes a big, fat question mark about the rumor.
Simply put, we’ll just have to wait to see how this shakes out.