It’s funny how Amazon releases new Kindles very infrequently, and yet when they do come out with a new model they tend to offer a bunch of different sub-versions of it.
Sometimes I poke fun at Onyx for replacing their most popular models every 6-12 months to capitalize on people’s desire to have the latest model, but at least they’re making minor improvements along the way.
Amazon’s strategy is to release a new model every three years or so, and they like to offer a bunch of different versions of the same device during that time. I’ve posted about how Amazon makes buying a Kindle needlessly confusing with all their pre-purchase choices, and I was thinking how nobody else does it that way, at least not with ereaders.
For example, if you decide to buy a 11th generation Kindle Paperwhite there’s nearly a dozen different versions to choose from, and that’s not counting ad-supported versions as different models since that’s really just a software difference, same with choosing a 3-month Kindle Unlimited trial.
There’s an 8GB version of the Kindle Paperwhite for $139, a 16GB model for $149, and then there’s the Signature Edition that comes with 32GB of storage and it adds wireless charging and an auto-brightness sensor.
The 8GB model is only available in black, but the 16GB model and the Signature Edition are available in black, agave green, and denim blue. So that’s seven different versions right there.
Don’t forget the Kindle Paperwhite Kids too. It’s exactly the same as the 16GB Paperwhite, so maybe it’s not technically a different model, but it’s been repackaged as a version for kids, and it’s available with three different cover designs, the Warrior Cats version being $10 more expensive than the others so maybe they should all be counted as different models the same as different colors because they’re all different SKUs.
So there’s like 10 different variations of the Kindle Paperwhite to choose from. All of them provide the exact same reading experience so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose in the end, but Amazon sure likes to offer a lot of choices for the same thing.
Other companies offer two versions of the same model at most so it is rather unusual. Kobo offers a black and a white version of the Libra 2 and that’s it; all their other current models are available in one version only. It’s the same story with other companies.
It would be one thing if Amazon offered Kindles with some actual meaningful differences, like selling a Paperwhite with page buttons or one with an indented screen for better contrast, but they’re basically just selling ten different versions of the same thing. No wonder it takes Amazon so long to release new Kindles when they have to replace ten different sub-models instead of just one or two like everyone else.