Why So Few New 6-inch eBook Readers Lately?

Kobo Glo HD

For a long time lots of people (myself included) were calling for more ebook readers with larger screens to counter the multitude of ebook readers with the same 6-inch screens.

Over the past year and a half there have been several new ereaders released with 10-inch and 13-inch screens, some with 7.8-inch screens, and even Amazon finally released a new Kindle with a 7-inch screen.

But with the rise of larger ereaders things have really tapered off in the 6-inch ebook reader market.

In the past year there’s only been a couple of new 6-inch ebook readers released, the Nook GlowLight 3 and the Kobo Clara HD.

Even going back two years there hasn’t been much action on the 6-inch ebook reader front. There have been a few new devices from Boyue but not much else. It’s been awhile since Onyx released a new 6-inch model and it seems like they put out something new every 6 months.

Amazon has really grown lax with the popularity of the Kindle Paperwhite, which has had the exact same design since 2012. It was fine 6 years ago but now it’s one of the bulkiest and heaviest 6-inch ebook readers on the market.

It’s been two years since Amazon released a new 6-inch Kindle, and that was the current basic model, which is almost exactly the same as the previous basic model. The last innovative new 6-inch Kindle that Amazon released was the 1st gen Kindle Oasis, and it was already discontinued last year. Yet they’re still selling the Kindle Voyage that was released in 2014.

If 6-inch ebook readers are the most popular size, then why are there so few new models getting released lately?

17 Responses to “Why So Few New 6-inch eBook Readers Lately?”

  1. My guess is that we will get at least one from Amazon. Hopefully something new, not the Paperwhite 4. To me the question will be whether they keep the Voyage and Paperwhite skus or merge them into one device. My hope is they decide to finally go large! 8 to 10″.
    I expect nothing from B and N.
    Not sure I expect much from Kobo…they already have a couple options….Maybe an Aura 2 with improved lighting.

  2. You probably missed some good 6 inch readers presented lately:
    – Bookeen Saga;
    – PocketBook Touch HD 2;
    – PocketBook Basic Lux.

    • It’s hard to consider to them as options when they aren’t available in North America. They can be imported but that makes the cost way too high for a basic 6-inch model, and then there’s virtually no customer support or warranty service over here.

      • Does Onyx or Boyue have better support and availibility in North America than PocketBook or Bookeen?

        • Yeah, Inkbooks (rebranded Boyue ereaders) and Onyx’s devices both sell locally on Amazon so they’re easy to return if there’s a problem. I wish Pocketbook and Bookeen cared about other markets and had better distribution. It’s not like it’s hard to sell on Amazon internationally. I really wanted to get the InkPad 3 to review but the price is ridiculously high to import it.

  3. The paperwhite might be a bit bulky, the voyage is much less so. They both work really well. What would you change?

    • The Kindle Haven, a cross hybrid between the Voyage and Paperwhite. With a 6.5” 384ppi flush bezel screen, Waterproof, 8gb, page-turn buttons, auxilary and bluetooth support, comfort light in a small lightweight design weighing only 172g price tagged at $199.

      The new Kindle Paperwhite will keep the same design except the storage will be boosted to 8gb and offer comfort light at $119.

      The new Basic Kindle will have its screen boosted to 300ppi and will ditch its plastic shell in favor of a rubberized back similar to the Paperwhite and Basic Kindles of the old days.

      Release date: September

      Sound exciting? I bet it does. Thise are things on my wishlist but don’t take my word for it, its just me speculating 😅

      • The haven sounds great!!! I have tried almost all of them. The main problem that is not mentioned that much is I’ve never found one that is evenly lit.

        • You’re absolutely right and most of the problems with uneven screens are due to the flush bezels. The paperwhite is more uniform than any Voyage Oasis or Aura One ive tried and they all have flush bezels. But despite that shortcoming, the glass flush bezel does make the text pop out more, especially at night. I guess its a give and take.

    • I think they should release an updated Voyage and sell it for $149. Save the waterproofing and metal back for the Oasis and keep the new Voyage lightweight and portable and keep the buttons and the nice high-resolution screen. Then release a new basic frontlit model for $99. And if I was calling the shots I’d release a 5-inch Kindle mini without a light for $69.

      • I think you’re probably on to something in terms of the price drop. Really, the next major leap Amazon needs to make is to get the price point down to “impulse buy” level. IMO that’s under $50.

        I’m less sold on whether a 5-inch model would be popular. I think the sales of the Onyx Boox products and the ReMarkable, plus the direction of the smartphone market in the US illustrates that we’ve swung back toward devices 6 inches or bigger.

        If Amazon wanted to be really, really bold they could re-enter the smartphone market with an e-ink smartphone. They do exist and apparently sell decently well in China. Or maybe Amazon decides to do what Microsoft refuses to do (so far) and releases a dual screen device.

  4. IMO the reason is that the overwhelming dominant player in the market is Amazon and they don’t have any reason to release a new Kindle. It’s been quite clear to me for a while that Amazon has pivoted to a focus on Alexa. Their next focus IMO will be more home automation technologies. Bezos still cares about the Kindle but it’s not a major focus in their corporate strategy anymore. The Nook is all but dead and Kobo’s partnership with Walmart hasn’t been fully implemented. Ereaders aren’t smartphones, most people don’t upgrade until the device dies or isn’t supported anymore. There’s no clamoring for new screen technology coming from most readers, just enthusiests like us.

    If Amazon decides to release a new Kindle it’ll be because they’ve determined there’s a market for an ereader with Alexa.

  5. Love the 6″ size, slips into the back pocket of my jeans. Anything bigger and it wouldn’t. I would like to see the PW version with smaller bezels and page turning buttons. Size and weight were the two features that turned me from using my ipad for reading. Also the lower cost and the ruggedness I don’t see a need for a protective cover.

  6. Isn’t this what you wanted? Maybe you talked everyone into it.

  7. My Aura just died…need a new reader. Looking at Kobo Clara. Ideally I would have loved the Kobo mini with back lighting. I like kindles but don’t like the fact that they use a proprietary format. Looking to stay with the KOBO store…why can’t all ereaders use the same format????

  8. The soon to be released PocketBook Touch Lux 4 has a 6″ screen. Looks interesting.