Prediction: Kindle Paperwhite with 6.8″ Screen for $159


Kindle_Paperwhite_300ppi

Amazon will start shipping their new Fire tablets early next week, including the ultra cheap $49 Fire. But what about new Kindles?

Amazon hasn’t officially announced any new Kindle models for 2015 yet, other than the Paperwhite 3 that was released back in July, but it just got an upgraded screen so that can hardly be considered a new model.

And the thing with the Kindle Paperwhite is it has basically remained unchanged since it was first introduced back in 2012.

It’s gotten some upgraded parts along the way but it’s still essentially the same model with the same exact design and functionality as the original.

That’s part of the reason why I think a new Kindle Paperwhite is due to get released soon.

I’m going to make a rather bold prediction. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, or the fact the ereader market has grown stagnate and boring over the past couple of years.

I predict that Amazon will soon announce a new Kindle Paperwhite with a 6.8-inch E Ink Carta screen with a 1430 x 1080 resolution (265 ppi). Other than the larger screen, the 6.8-inch Paperwhite will have the same exact specs as the Paperwhite 3.

This would make sense on so many levels. First, Amazon’s main ereader competitor is Kobo, and they’ve long offered 6.8-inch ereaders with the Kobo Aura HD and the Kobo Aura H2O. Both have proven to be popular models at that size.

Another reason that Amazon needs a 6.8-inch Kindle Paperwhite is simply for variety. There are too many 6-inch ereaders. Amazon has released tablets with just about every screen size possible: there are 6″, 7″, 8″, 8.9″, and 10.1″ Fire tablets. So why would they only offer a 6″ Kindle?

Also the current price structure for Kindle ereaders leaves a huge price gap of $80 between the Paperwhite 3 and Kindle Voyage. There needs to be another option in between them at $159. That would be the perfect price for a 6.8-inch Paperwhite, which would really be $179 without ads, the same exact price as the Kobo Aura H2O.

The Kindle Voyage has proven to be a slow seller based on the number of reviews and its lack of presence on the best seller lists at Amazon. The high price is part of the problem, but the bigger problem is it doesn’t offer enough advantages over the Kindle Paperwhite to get people’s attention. A Kindle with a larger 6.8-inch screen is going to attract a lot more attention simply because it’s new and different, and it’s going to give people who already own Kindles a reason to upgrade to a larger screen.

Ultimately an 8-inch Kindle Paperwhite would be even better, but I don’t think that will happen for two reasons. First, the price would have to be too high. Second, frontlights have been shown to be more uneven and blotchy on larger screens. Unless they get that figured out, that’s a big problem. With 6.8-inch screens it’s much less of an issue, especially considering Kobo’s screens look really good in that respect.

It would be a big mistake for Amazon not to release a 6.8-inch Kindle at this point in time. It makes the most sense for the Kindle line moving forward.

12 Responses to “Prediction: Kindle Paperwhite with 6.8″ Screen for $159”

  1. Oh, that would definitely get my attention! I hope you’re right.

  2. Me, too. I would love that. But why the lower resolution?

    • That’s the only resolution the 6.8 inch E Ink screens come in, at least so far.

      • Don’t forget that both the Onyx Boox I86 and the Pocketbook Inkpad(has a front like the Voyage) have 8″ high resolution, front lit displays. The screen tech for a larger device is out there.

        • Yeah, but they have lots of complaints about uneven frontlighting. That’s what I was eluding to in the article about frontlights not being as good on larger screens. Plus an 8-inch Kindle would cost at least $250. That’s more than their new 10-inch tablet. It doesn’t make sense for Amazon to go that route. They would sell way more 6.8-inch Kindles at $159 than 8-inch Kindles at $250. People don’t want to pay that much for a device that is only good for one thing.

  3. Not sure this is going to happen, if it fits is an instant buy from me. I think amazon has figured 6 inch is the size to force everyone to use their ebook products (buy books, whisper sync). Any larger and people can start to choose vendors (pdf, covert to pdf) with a reasonable experience.

  4. I’d like you to examine your crystal ball and predict a Kindle Mini (5″ lighted) or Kindle Pocket, or some other cutesy name. As long as it had a front light, I would order it at once!

    The 6.8″ screen I don’t really need, as I have a Kobo Aura HD. I think a lot of Kobo owners may feel that way.

  5. Nice prediction but it wont happen, at least not this year. Why? Two reasons…

    1. Not enough demand – The sheep are all too happy living in their 6″ world. Look at all the positive reviews for the PW3? People are happy and no complaints are mentioned about the size being too small. It’s good enough for them, ” I love my Paperwhite” ” I love my Paperwhite” is all I see. And thats the problem, its cheap and good enough and Amazon basically killed the Voyage and all other future “Niche” eReaders with the PW3.

    #2 Hardly any competition.
    Thank god for Kobo, without them we would probably have never seen a 300ppi PW3. In reality Kobo released the PW3 with the Kobo Glo HD and Amazon was forced to implement it or risk losing customers. The gamble? Effectively killing the Voyage in the process which is something they wanted to avoid but obviously happened.
    So will a larger Kindle e-reader be released? Yes, but only after Kobo releases the new Kobo h2o 8″ with 8gb, Mx7 processor, 128gb expandable storage capacity, waterproof, headphone jack and e-ink spectra color display. Then and only them will Amazon do something about it. “See Kobo Glo HD”
    The same way Samsung forced complacent Apple to up their screen size and up their game is what Kobo must now do to force Amazons hand. Competition drives innovation, it’s what’s best for the consumer. The sheep deserve better…

  6. How about a liquavista magazine reader? Amazon recently did a video showing off the team and the ereader like prototype has been around for a long time.

  7. @Jonathan
    The problem with Amazon is they have already positioned themselves as a budget brand. People expect cheap prices from them whether thats tablets, eReaders, goods, or content. They “fiddled” with high-end with the Voyage and it blew up in their face. Thats not what people want and expect from Amazon.
    Amazons goal is to get as many devices in peoples hands to sell content which is what their business consists of, not competing on specs and therefore raise prices.
    Volkswagen tried to sell a high-end car (forgot the name) it didnt work. Kia tried to sell a high end $70,000 K-900 car, it didnt sell. You cant establish yourself as a budget brand and then try to up your imagine and prices years later to compete with luxury. It doesnt work that way, your customers wont bite.
    Just look at what Amazon did to their fire tablet line, they went the super cheap route. This is a sign of whats to come…
    Amazons motto is “sell hardware at the lowest price possible and make it up with content sales”

  8. Let’s think about it in a different way. How would you make the Voyage more compelling and differentiated…increase the size. There are rumors of more advanced processor chips etc.
    They would not announce a Paperwhite twice in a year. I don’t even think they would do a Paperwhite Grand.
    My guess is competitive pressure from Kobo pushed Amazon to release the Paperwhite early and a Voyage is yet to follow.

  9. I recently returned my Kindle 300 ppi when it developed a tear in the screen large enough to cover 1 or 2 letters at my normal font size without reading glasses. At this point I’m just using my nice new Moto X Pure 5.7″ screen to read my Kindle books. I’m happy enough with my Kobo Glo HD. Page turns need to be much more consistent tho! I noticed Kobo 3.17.3 removed the check box for pinch to change font size, which never worked anyway. Sliding a finger along the left edge of the screen to adjust the frontlight kinda sorta works.

    Happiness would be to have the Kobo touch screen working as well as my phones and tablets work! Then I’d never be tempted to buy another Kindle reader ;p

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