As 2024 approaches, it’s hard not to be disappointed with Amazon’s current lineup of Kindles, especially when you compare them to what other companies now offer.
The fact that Amazon now only sells one Kindle model that I would want to use long-term (the Kindle Paperwhite) is pretty sad, and frankly I still prefer the Kindle Voyage from 2014 over the Paperwhite because of the page-button senors and the clearer screen. That’s one of the problems with Kindles—newer doesn’t mean better.
I think the current entry-level Kindle is a decent product for the price, but for me personally I’d never want to use it as my main ereader. It just feels too much like a cheap plastic toy; there are much nicer devices out there from other companies. If I’m going to use something all the time I don’t want the cheapest device possible; I’d rather pay a little more for something nicer. That’s a trend with Amazon’s other products as well—they’d rather sell something cheap than something nice. I could see them coming to a point in the future where they only sell cheap Kindles.
I really like the Kindle Scribe and think it’s vastly underrated for the price, but even still it’s not something I’d want to use as my main go-everywhere ereader because it’s simply too large and too heavy.
Now that the Kindle Oasis is being phased out, a lot of people say they won’t buy another Kindle without page buttons. We’re going on five years since Amazon last released a Kindle with page buttons so it’s not looking good on that front—the Oasis might be the last.
Amazon clearly doesn’t care about Kindle ereaders as much as they used to when new models were getting released every year, and when they do release new models the upgrades are often minimal and nonsensical (adding more storage space is just silly at this point when it’s virtually impossible to read more than 8GB of ebooks within the lifespan of a Kindle, but most people are convinced more storage space is better and worth paying extra for so Amazon loves to take advantage of that notion instead of offering upgrades that are actually useful).
The way B&N has handled their Nook ereaders should be a cautionary tale for other companies because almost nobody cares about Nooks anymore, and they were once a legit contender to Kindles.
It wouldn’t take a lot for Kindles to become as unliked as Nooks. A few more questionable moves by Amazon could send people to other platforms in droves, especially when other companies offer nicer devices with more features that aren’t locked into a single store. If it’s a race to the bottom Amazon will win, but at some point people are bound to realize cheaper isn’t better.