Amazon 'to launch new Kindle in July'
AMAZON plans to launch new versions of its Kindle ereader this summer with front lighting, it has been claimed.
It will be on sale in July, Reuters reports, citing a source with "direct knowledge of the matter".
The new Kindle will have a monochrome E Ink display, like existing models, but will add a front light for reading in the dark. Kindle users who want to read in poor light or in the dark currently have to buy an external light.
The new Kindle will have a touchscreen and will come in 3G and WiFi versions, the report says. The addition of a light will reduce the battery life of the Kindle, which currently lasts for up to two months.
Reuters said its source also claims that Amazon will update its Kindle Fire tablet in the autumn, increasing the size of the display to 8.9 inches.
The Kindle Fire, which is not currently available in Britain, launched late last year. Initial sales were high, with reports suggesting close to five million sold in the final quarter of 2011, but demand seems to have dropped off significantly.
A study by the International Data Corporation, released earlier this month, said that sales had dropped to just 750,000 in the first quarter of this year.
It is thought to be unlikely that Amazon will release a colour ereader this year, though that is a feature high on the wishlist of most customers.
Last weekend, Plastic Logic, a company that makes epaper screens, unveiled a new colour display at an event in Russia. The screen can display 4,096 colours will a resolution of 75ppi. The colour is provided by a filter on top of the monochrome screen.
There is no word on when the screen might be available.