Up until last year, Amazon had regularly released at least one new Kindle ereader every year since 2009. Now it’s been over 2 full years since a new Kindle was released, so it’s not unreasonable to expect a new model to show up before the end of 2021.
It’s hard to anticipate what moves Amazon might make in regards to Kindles because they tend to do their own thing and they don’t really follow trends set by other ereader companies. That’s why I don’t expect Amazon to release a Kindle with a color E Ink screen anytime soon.
The key to predicting new Kindle upgrades is not to expect any major changes. E Ink ebook readers evolve at a much slower pace than other electronics, especially Kindles. A new model is likely to be 90% the same as existing models, but there are a few small changes Amazon could make to bring Kindles up a level to better compete with similar products that are available in 2021.
Possible Kindle Upgrades
Warm Frontlight – At present, Kindle customers have to spend a minimum of $250 to get a Kindle with a color-adjusting warm frontlight (the ad-supported 8GB Kindle Oasis). Meanwhile, all the other ereader companies offer warm frontlights on cheaper 6-inch models, like the Kobo Clara HD or Nook GlowLight 3 for $119.
Bigger Screen – Some people are still holding out for a Kindle with a screen larger than 7-inches. Other ereader companies offer devices with 8-inch and 10-inch E Ink screens so it’s a bit puzzling why Kindles don’t have the same option.
Better Screen – One reason people don’t upgrade their Kindles very often is because the newer models use the exact same E Ink screens as the older models, with the same resolution and sometimes worse contrast. It’s time for Kindles to finally get a boost in contrast and/or resolution. E Ink recently announced they have a new type of On-Cell touchscreen that improves contrast so maybe the next new Kindle will use that.
USB-C – This has been a surprisingly hot topic for the past few years. Some people get seriously annoyed about having to use an older USB cable with Kindles when most modern devices now use USB-C. Other ereader companies have upgraded to USB-C; time for Kindles to finally do the same.
Alexa Integration – This one is a little out there but I could see Amazon adding Alexa support to their next new Kindle. Alexa could be used to read ebooks aloud, and Alexa could also help speed up searches and make shopping in the Kindle store a bit easier by being able to use voice search instead of relying on E Ink keyboards with slow-refreshing screens. Just tell Alexa to open a specific book and your ready to go without having to search for it in your library.
Steve H. says
My prediction is:
A warmlight Paperwhite (possible name change) with probable USB-C.
FINALLY a large reader….anywhere from 8 to 10 inches….they have the buy power to create a one off size that does not follow the 10 inch trend. With warmlight controls.
It is possible that they may go with an incremental improvement on the Oasis…higher contrast or resolution…
Qi charging. I added it to my Kindle.
I don’t see a new Kindle coming out for at least another 2-3 years. BTW, I still don’t understand how Google and Apple have dedicated E-bookstores and ecosystems and yet no dedicated e-reader. That would really light up a fire in Amazon.
Amen – Amazon needs someone to challenge it after the failure of the Nook.
From your lips to Bezos’s ears. I’m still reading on a Kindle Voyage. The contrast is better than anything else modern, I like the haptic buttons. I’m happy with the reader, but the battery life isn’t what it used to be. One of the underrated features is the origami case. I use it regularly to stand the book up while eating.
I like the newer paper whites because they’re waterproof, but there’s no good excuse for inferior contrast and not having an option for warm front-light, and a USBC plug would mean one less cable when I travel. I keep looking at the Oasis, but I’m not crazy about the asymmetric design.
I’d immediately order a new voyage with a warm light and USBC. I’d also immediately order a new paper white that actually had better (or at least not worse) contrast than my voyage if they add a warm light and USBC.
You could try using a magnetic cable to charge your devices.
Mrs. k says
Everything you just wrote!! Ditto. I am holding on to my Kindle Voyage in the meantime as well.
My Oasis battery life is not all that great compared to my Voyage battery life. I doubt you’d be happy with the Oasis. I think the only reason I’m still using my Oasis is that it has a nice stand case for reading in bed. If I had a stand case, not the origami style, for my Voyage, I think my Oasis would find a new home.
I’ve tried a pillow stand but the darn Voyage falls off too easily. I like a stand case because I, ahem, fall asleep often while I’m reading. I’ll wake up and keep reading. 🙂
Although I CAN say that my Oasis’ contrast is on par with my Voyage. I was shocked when this refurbished Oasis ticked all the boxes except buttons on both sides. (Well, except battery life but charging every week isn’t bad.)
I sold my Voyage a while back thinking a version 2 was coming. Still regret it. I have the latest Oasis which is ok but that Voyage…
Lou Sevens says
I enjoy reading on my Oasis more than my Paperwhite. I have thought about trading the Paperwhite in to get a discount on the Oasis but the Paperwhite its good backup and has a much better battery than the Oasis.
I feel as though Amazon needs to lower the price of the Oasis to $149.99 and the Kindle to $99.99- they would sell more.
Also, the menu through cycling through books is not great- sometimes I’ll go on to my PC app to scroll and bring a book to the forefront.
I have around 600 books-
The could make multiple screen size versions, perhaps 8, 9.5″ or even 10. It is much more efficient to read on the 7″ vs the 6″- less page turns.
Excluding the backlight and no e-ink- it is much easier to scroll through my collection on a regular Kindle tablet. -However I had one and didn’t use it much so back it went.
close to kindle says
The next Kindle will have a fingerprint reader for faster unlocking.
The processor should be way faster than it is. I’m talking about searching your library for a collection or book, paging through the list of books, adding books to collections, opening books, etc. Drives me nuts how slow and clunky that has always been.
While I would prefer to still read real books, ebooks are great for nighttime reading for those of us over 40! I love that they are backlit and that you can adjust the font so I don’t need to wear reading glasses.
However…why is the operating system so antiquated? The interface is horrible! Trying to sort my books by read and unread is near impossible on my kindle ebook, trying to find the last book I read is a similar nightmare as I have to scroll through all the books they are selling slow page by slow page to get to the books in my library which don’t seem to be listed in chronological order. Don’t even get me started on trying to buy books on the ebook – what a cumbersome process!
Ebooks have such great potential but the technology has not been upgraded much since they were introduced 14 years ago – a lifetime in the electronics industry.