What Could Amazon Have In Store for a Kindle Paperwhite 4?

White Kindle Paperwhite

When you look closely at the current Kindle Paperwhite, it’s starting to lag behind other ebook readers in certain areas.

Not just other brands like the Nook Glowlight 3 and Kobo models that offer more storage space and have frontlights with adjustable color temperature, but also other Kindles.

For instance, the basic $79 Kindle has Bluetooth and supports audiobooks.

It’s rather odd that the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t have Bluetooth or support audiobooks at all.

Plus there’s the simple fact that the Kindle Paperwhite has been sporting the exact same design going on 6 years now.

The first generation Kindle Paperwhite was released back in 2012. It was replaced with the 2nd gen Paperwhite one year later, and then the Paperwhite 3, the current model, was released on June 30th, 2015. All generations are the same size and shape; they just changed the screens and a few inner components along the way.

At this point it wouldn’t be surprising to see Amazon go in a different direction with a new product name, but the Kindle Paperwhite is the most popular Kindle ever so it’s hard to imagine Amazon rushing to replace it.

Either way you look at it the Kindle Paperwhite is due for an upgrade, and so is the Kindle Voyage, which is even older and dates back to 2014. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon combine them into one new model. Or they might not update them at all. New Kindle releases have become increasingly unpredictable in recent years.

What do you think? Will Amazon release a Kindle Paperwhite 4 later this year?

28 Responses to “What Could Amazon Have In Store for a Kindle Paperwhite 4?”

  1. Oh…come on…. I thought this was going to be news. Dang It! (not really mad….love your site/channel)

    I’ve said it before…but…i want a flush Paperwhite…at least. As long as its not the Voyage screen.

    Maybe side buttons as well…

    Then, maybe they would still have room to update the Voyage….especially if all they did was give the PW a flush screen.

    • Why would a news article have a headline end with a question mark? 😀

      • I missed the ? too, so what I read was “What Does Amazon Have In Store for the Kindle Paperwhite 4” and I thought they had released the PW4 and already had accessories in their Store :'(

      • Well…it could’ve been a Question….then….”…Now you’re going to find out.”

        I’ve been waiting a year for a New Paperwhite to be released…Stop playing with my emotions man.

  2. Having not changed its external design is a good thing in my mind.
    Apple is doing the same thing with iPads. We get to rake the benefits as the third party accessories did not have to change and only got more affordable. It’s obscene to pay $50 for a Kindle cover.
    I’d like to see the USB-C at the bottom center and a docking station.
    That way if they open the API we’ll see screensaver clocks, weather, art etc. Strange thing is that the Europeans have embraced this technology wholeheartedly as readers, smartphones, price tags and much more. One can hope…

  3. After 6 years the paperwhite is overdo for a re-design, those bezels are just not cool anymore. But I just dont see it happening this year.
    My guess is they update the Voyage this year with the same design except for Bluetooth support, waterproof, 8gb, and page turn buttons along with comfort light while maintaing the sleek comfy plastic design at 6”. Price would be the same $199. I also see the Basic Kindle being updated to 212ppi.
    I believe the Paperwhite will be updated in 2019, a year after the new Voyage frenzy in order to keep customers satisfied at the low $119 tier.

    • If anything…i would expect Bluetooth and Storage upgrade. If they too much, it would be too close to the Oasis.

      • The main selling point of the oasis is the large 7 inch screen. I still believe they can make a premium 6 inch device without undercutting the oasis. There is a market for both devices. Hey simple storage upgrade and Bluetooth wouldn’t justify the $199 and it would be an instant bust in my Opinion.

  4. it is fine for me,
    can read my books on iPad as well
    so will keep using my PW

  5. Were I a Kindle ereader customer — and I’m not because I gave up on them awhile ago — I’d be looking for some leadership in the low to mid-range product line.

    Every e-reader manufacturer on the planet has introduced color temperature into at least some of their products. Everyone but Kindle, that is, so *that* would be a nice place for them to start across ALL of their front-lit products, without raising prices.

    Then there’s the 32GB thing; giving the rest of the world what they gave the Japanese donkey’s ears ago seems like the least that they could do.

    Interesting discussion, btw, of that popular UK term, here: https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/donkeys-years.html

    Turns out, the popular British term, “Donkey’s years” was actually an American misinterpretation. Like so much else, America got it wrong (surprise, surprise) and the *actual* term was, originally, donkey’s *ears*. When America started using their incorrect version, the English apparently decided that they themselves were wrong and adopted the misinterpretation. Then America stopped using it altogether and the original phrase became a weird footnote in language history and as an aside in posts like this one.

    The more you know, Dude.

  6. I frankly hope they ignore all these pathetic calls for color temperature adjustment. Just get the color temperature right… like paper… and I’m happy. Oasis 2 knocked it out of the park. Nice warm white. Who the heck wants to read orange paper?

    • Kindle have a notoriously bad reputation for poor quality control with frontlit readers being off color. I went through four different exchanges on the new oasis before I gave up so consider yourself lucky. A control temperature would help fix some of those problems Not to mention if marketed properly would spark curiosity and inspire customers.
      I believe this feature would help justify the cost of a premium 6” kindle such as the Voyage if thats the Kindle that gets updated.

  7. I’ve not experienced this terrible light quality that you claim to, but even if that were the case, I’m not convinced that adding an adjustable-color light to the mix is going to help matters. Globally tinting the light color doesn’t help with the specific problems people complain about…. the cones, the gradients, the pinkish areas. How would another complicated feature help Amazon’s quality control?

    • Indeed. The Aura One has just as many complaints about poor quality control regarding the screen and light. The orange light often has odd colors and dark spots. Mine does too. Some people are just more sensitive to that kind of thing than others. I see problems with backlights being uneven on tablets all the time but for some reason you rarely hear people complaining about that. Pretty much every tablet I’ve ever owned has had some level of backlight bleed or parts of the screen being subtly brighter than others.

    • In many instances either you get a cold blue screen or pinkish yellowish hue. Nate posted an article with a picture a few days ago regarding this exact same issue on Kindles. An adjustable comfort light lets you adjust the gradience to a slighter warmer tone if you get stuck with cold blue screen for example. I find that helpful and works wonders on my Kobo H2O second edition. I never go too far to reading in Orange but it helps lots making slight adjustments depending on what lighting situation you’re in. A perfect screen is rare as you will find that on many devices but there is always that dominant cold blue or yellowish pinkish screen with slight shadows. A comfort light helps you adjust the dominant color to your preference which I find very useful.

      • Well, I hope Amazon will continue to ignore this “feature” and just aim to get the color correct, even if they have slight manufacturing issues to iron out. I don’t want a slider that is needed to “work wonders” on crappy color, as your Kobo apparently needs. Just get the color of paper right to begin with. Which is what my experience has been with the Kindle line.

        I do agree that the Voyage was noticeably cooler-tinted. But that has been a widespread observation of the Voyage… an intentional design decision that has also resulted in that model having the best contrast of any Kindle.

  8. I have the 2nd gen Paperwhite with 2 GB(Not 4 as in your chart!) and the only way I would by a newer version is a 32GB PW/Voyage hybrid WITH sound, and an SD slot for storage. Page turn buttons as on the Kindle 2nd or 3rd gen but a tad smaller. Adaptive lights if I can shut it off and do it manually-13 in the day, 11 at night.

    Oh, one more thing let’s get that Kindle “experimental browser” to fully operational status! It’s been in the experimental stage so long you’d think Amazon let the Pentagon design it!

    Where can I rant about the Kindle app for PC’s and Android/Amazon?

  9. I like my Paperwhite. It’s getting a bit older now and I’ve been thinking of getting a new one and I hope they don’t add a lot of useless features before I save enough to get one.

    Actually I have 3 Paperwhites, one of each generation, and a Voyage. I do most of my reading on the third generation Paperwhite. I preferred the Voyage at first because of it’s smaller size and lighter weight but after while I realized I was accidentally touching the screen on the Voyage because of the flush bezels. I still use it. I’m reading my current book on the Voyage. But I use the Paperwhite 3 most.

    Amazon seems to have settled into a plan where they make a device, improve it till it’s just right and then come out with a premium model. That way those of us who like the old model can keep getting them and those who want newer features can have them. Sounds like a good plan to me.

    The thing about lighted ereaders is that they’re so close to the perfect reading experience that anything else they do with today’s technology is window dressing. You might like it but you don’t need it for a good reading experience.

    Ebook readers are for reading. They’re not mass storage devices and they’re not tablets. They’re just simple reading devices. A plain vanilla car with a few luxuries is nice to have. I mostly drove Chevies. I’m sure people with Cadillacs love them but I always bought a Chevy. Even in the days when I could have bought a Cadillac.


  10. When will be revealed the new Kindle Paperwhite?

  11. I love my oasis 2 outside of the shitty battery life. I want a smaller model that i can put in my pocket. I would like to see the updated paperwhite thinner and a smaller bezel, maybe more like the size of the voyage without the high price. Something i can slip into my pocket. I hate myself for selling my first generation oasis and voyage. they were perfect pocket sized devices

  12. A Kindle Paperwhite with a 7.8-inch flush screen would be an insta-buy for me, and it would replace both my Kobo Aura One and my Kindle Voyage. Please, Amazon! I know you can do it! 🙂

  13. Water resistance, please! I enjoy reading in the hot tub or bath. IP56 would be nice, but even IP54 or 55 would be welcome.

  14. I just lost my Paperwhite 2 while travelling with my lovely, lovely Oberon cover on it which they don’t do anymore!!!

    Thank you for this interesting discussion. I’m going to wait for the next generation and then I might still go a refurbished Oasis 1 even though the waterproof capability is extremely tempting.

    I do agree with most of you: water resistance is important to me, I would prefer a 7″ screen, but not enough to pay for the Oasis 2 with its poor battery life. I actually like the side-bezels on the Paperwhite, the top one is needed to keep the design well balanced. Yes, I would love to see page turn buttons again though.

    Do I want control of screen colouring? I do see the dark spots on the Paperwhite, but they never bothered me. But yes, as my eye sight is slowly starting to change now, I’m sure I would appreciate screen colouring sooner or later.

    I don’t need bluetooth or audio capability on a cheapish device, for that I’ve got my mobile, which is far more handy than a normal-sized Kindle. I usually either read or listen; only when learning a foreign language it would be great to have the reading synced simultaneously.

    What I would really love to see is coloured e-ink. The technology is already out there, but apparently not quite developed enough for e-books? Then I would be willing to spend more. Otherwise a new Paperwhite needs to keep its current price, then I will buy it.

  15. I read this article about “ClearInk” that might be the next major move for eReaders.


    –Faster response times.
    –Supports larger screens
    –Cheaper to make

    Interesting times.

    • Stuff like that never seems to materialize, unfortunately. Every year they say they have something in the works for next year and then next year comes along and they say next year we’ll have a product! Then they do it all over again but nothing ever gets released in any real, working products and eventually they fade into oblivion.