Trendspotting: Looks like Amazon is soon launching new Kindle Paperwhite e-readers

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 new models

Update: Good news. The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhites are here and they do indeed feature USB-C connectors for charging. Our lives can blissfully continue knowing sanity has prevailed. Chalk one up for humanity.

Reports today are suggesting that Amazon will soon unveil updated Kindle Paperwhite e-readers.

This time the “leak” came courtesy of Reddit (it’s almost always there or on Twitter).

Per Engadget, a comparison chart, which is now removed, “showed new Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition models, with 6.8-inch 300 ppi displays and 17 LEDs. The current Paperwhite, by contrast, has a 6-inch display and just four LEDs.”

The Verge had this to say about the news:

“A new generation of Kindle devices appears to have leaked via a since-removed comparison chart on Amazon Canada, GoodEReader reports. Two new devices are shown in the chart, a CA$149.99 (around $117) Kindle Paperwhite, and a CA$209.99 (around $164) Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition. Both feature a larger 6.8-inch E ink display compared to the current 6-inch Paperwhite, but only the more expensive model has the new wireless charging, alongside more storage and lights that adjust based on the brightness of the environment.”

As a Paperwhite owner one thing I hope the refreshed line addresses is the vintage micro-USB connector the current models use. It would be very welcome to see Amazon finally jump to the ubiquitous USB-C connector. After all, we’re all drowning in them so they’re readily available. Even Apple adopted the standard for its iPads and MacBooks — and hopefully next year for iPhones as well.

Another annoyance I hope gets addressed: the prominent “kindle” logo typeface on the bottom front. I found it so distracting when reading that I had to upgrade to an Oasis which, thankfully, features a clean bezel, devoid of branding. Previous Kindles used a monochromatic scheme which made the logo blend in and not become a nuisance. For some reason, on its latest version Amazon opted to make it white (!). Curious choice.

Pricing-wise it looks like the base Kindle Paperwhite will come in around $117-$119 USD ($149.99 CAN), and the up-level Paperwhite Signature Edition at $164-169 USD ($209.99 CAN).

No word that I can see of Amazon offering a new edition of its Oasis flagship reader.

Take this all with the usual grain of salt. Nevertheless, these rumors and “leaks” are becoming par for the course. And typically they’re accurate these days.

Amazon routinely updates the Kindle line-up so no surprise this should be happening soon. The device, representing the company’s roots in books and reading, is a dominant player in the space. According to Magnolia Media (via BookSliced), Amazon has about 81% of the eBook market share. That leads the pack by a massive margin, with the rest: Nook at 9%; Apple Books 7%; and Kobo 3%.

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