New Kindles and Kobos Very Unlikely Anytime Soon


Kobo-eReaders

If you were hoping for a shiny new ereader to get released this summer, like a new Kindle Voyage or an updated Kindle Paperwhite or a new Kobo model, you’re most likely going to have to wait another 6 months at least.

There’s a revealing article over at the Taipei Times saying how E Ink’s chairman told investors that shipments of ereader displays is going to be down over the upcoming months, so it clearly sounds like they don’t expect any significant releases anytime soon.

Here’s a quote from the article:

“We expect the e-reader segment to weaken amid a slack season. Moreover, clients are transitioning to new models, which is digesting inventories,” company chairman Frank Ko told an investor teleconference. “We are conservative about the outlook for shipment figures of e-paper displays for e-readers.”

However, larger models in the e-notebook market will continue to see growth, with new models like the 10.3-inch Onyx Boox Note and Likebook Note from Boyue getting released. Sony has a new model in the works as well, the DPT-CP1.

But when it comes to smaller ereader displays it sounds like things are going to be pretty slow for awhile.

With 3 of the 4 Kindle Voyage models having been unavailable for the past several weeks, it looked like a new model was imminent, but apparently Amazon is just going to continue the transition to the new Kindle Oasis instead.

A new Kobo model recently surfaced on the FCC website, but other than a goofy name, the Kobo Clara HD, no pertinent details have been revealed yet. My guess is it will be a 6-inch 300 ppi model since that’s the one thing Kobo doesn’t currently offer and it’s basically the standard these days, but that remains to be seen. Regardless, it almost certainly won’t be released before September.

So it looks like we’ll have to wait until this fall before we start seeing any new interesting ereaders being released. Bummer…

19 Responses to “New Kindles and Kobos Very Unlikely Anytime Soon”

  1. Rats. I was holding out for a Voyage with real buttons. Oh well, it’s just as good because I haven’t found a screen as good as my Precious.

    Well, her name is actually Mimi, but I turn invisible when I’m reading on my Voyage. Virtually nothing can pull me back unless it’s the Kindle hitting me on the face because I’ve fallen asleep. OR I am startled because I reached up to turn a paper page.

    • Christopher Estep Reply April 10, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Actually, the real reason for the death of the dedicated e-reader is the growth of e-reader apps – even Amazon’s own Kindle Paperwhite (their dedicated e-reader) is in serious boiling hot water. In the case of the Kindle Paperwhite, the threat comes from within – literally; specifically, the Kindle Fire tablets. First off, every Fire device – regardless of sort – includes – at a cost of nit – the core apps from the Amazon ecostructure – including the Kindle e-reader app. Basically any hardware with a Kindle e-reader app becomes another Kindle. TVs, PCs, phones, tablets, etc. Basically, you need a dedicated e-reading device like you need a third foot. Because I have Kindle e-reader apps on my desktop, two of my notebooks, etc., I’d need a dedicated Kindle Paperwhite exactly *why*? What REALLY put the kibosh on the idea was the Fire 7 on sale (for all of $50USD). I had bought the Fire 7 as a replacement for an earlier Android tablet running Lollipop. Okay; Fire tablets (like Kindles) don’t run pure Android – no; they don’t. Instead; they run a FORK of Android called FireOS. (The current-gen Fire devices ship with FireOS 5.4 – with an upgrade to 5.6.0.0 rolling out now.) Can the Play Store be added to FireOS devices? Yes – I have, in fact, done so with my own Fire 7 – Google for it – it can be easily done with any Fire tablet of the current or previous generation – regardless of size. When you’re done, you have two app stores at your beck – Amazon’s and Google’s. Unless you don’t use the Kindle .MOBI formats (and I don’t see why you wouldn’t) any – and every – FireOS device has your back – not to mention any device equippable with a Kindle e-reader app – which is – practically – any device. The only reason I never put a Kindle reader on my phone – a Samsung Galaxy S7 – is screen size (not lack of app). Instead of putting a Kindle app on my phone, I’ll use the OneDrive app on my phone to transfer my existing Kindle e-books to SD card – THEN move THOSE to my Fire 7 (which also supports the format).

      • Tablets, phones and PCs have been around for many years and dedicated ereaders are still doing just fine. Not many people want to read on a low resolution $50 Fire tablet. The reading experience is far superior on the Paperwhite. Plus the battery lasts much longer, its screen is easily readable in direct sunlight, it’s lighter and more comfortable to hold, and there are a number of other advantages as well.

      • What REALLY put the kibosh on the idea was the Fire 7 on sale (for all of $50USD).
        That wasn’t my experience. I purchased the Fire 8 on sale for even less. I don’t use my Fire 8, because it still has no boldface fonts. Kindles have had boldface fonts for several years. Every time the Fire 8 updates, I have been waiting in vain for the addition of boldface fonts.

  2. Gifted my Oasis to my son and read on my phone. I’ll eventually get another front lit one, but with a 7″ screen. I knew I had a reading problem when I tried to treat my work computer monitor like it was a touchscreen and I wanted to get to the next page. 🙂

  3. I hope they don’t get rid of the Voyage altogether. I just got the now Oasis and, while I love the form function and page turn buttons, the screen on my Voyage is clearer. Although my old Kindle Keyboard had the whitest screen on any Kindle I’ve ever owned.

    I think Amazon has gotten lazy about improving their screens since they began relying on front-lighting their devices.

  4. I agree the screen on the Voyage and the first generation Oasis is much more crisper than the 7″ 2017 oasis. I am guessing its due to the larger screen size and that it needs a few extra lights built in

  5. As a canadian, do I only have to choose between Kindle and Kobo or do I have other options?
    I want to buy my first ereader ever and I’m a bit lost.

    • For a first ereader, a Kindle or Kobo is going to be the best option. There are other brands like Onyx and Boyue but their open Android software is more suited for advanced users that know what they’re getting into with regards to converting ebook formats and hunting down E Ink-friendly apps.

      • Thanks for the fast reply Nathan!
        I think an Android ereader might actually be what I’m looking for. I’m no geek, far from it, but I should be able to get around if I find a good tutorial 😉
        Any recommendations for one that is not too pricy and has the possibility to add memory? I stumbled upon the inkBook this afternoon, but I’m not sure if it’s a good ereader or not…
        I think I’ll have a few more hours of research before I figure out the best for me.

        • I have reviews posted for the InkBook Classic and InkBook Prime. The hardware is really nice but the software, while being more open, has a lot of limitations. The older Android version isn’t compatible with a good share of apps and the built-in bookstore is Polish so most books need to be sideloaded. Kindles and Kobos have a lot more advanced layout options and more refined software, and it’s easier to shop for and download books directly from their respective stores. Their Android apps aren’t designed for E Ink so they don’t work as well as their ereader counterparts, but there are some reading apps that have been modified to work well with E Ink screens.

  6. I found your blog while trying to choose whether to update my old sad Paperwhite. Your videos and articles were great and very helpful. Especially the trade in information. I traded in a Kindle touch and was happy to get $15 plus the 25% off. I went with the oasis. Thanks again!!

  7. Aw. I have been in the mood for a new e-reader release 🙁 I don’t want the Oasis for various reasons, so was hoping they would buff up and enhance another Paperwhite or Voyage. Apparently not yet. Crossing fingers.

  8. CLEARink maybe the future for ereaders. I will hope that Kobo clara will be with clear ink technology!

    • It’s funny how stuff like this takes on a life of its own. I’ve seen articles proclaiming Clearink is the future of Kindles and how it’s going to replace E Ink. But if you read the company’s mission statement they don’t even have any intention of bringing Clearink to ereaders like Kindles and Kobos. They clearly state they are targeting the education and wearable markets. Furthermore, Clearink has been around since 2012 and they still haven’t produced a single product yet. They keep saying they’ll a have a product “next year” and then when next year rolls around they just say the same thing over again. One thing I can absolutely guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt is we won’t see any new ereaders with Clearink displays in 2018.

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