New York (NY) – On February 9, Amazon will hosting a special media event in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Both the venue and the timing lead most to believe that this is the day the newly redesigned Kindle 2.0 will hit the market as a slimmer, and better designed device which may attract a whole new breed of user.
Times may be tough for the company though, with consumer spending down and the holidays so far away, but if Amazon is capable of offering consumers a great deal on a great product, they could have something special on their hands.
Originally launched in November, 2007 ten years after the first e-book readers, and a year after Sony launched their reader, Kindle was attacked for its looks. The device is bulky and somewhat cheap looking. With Oprah’s endorsement and heavy promotion on Amazon.com (including a 10% reduction in price and free shipping) the company was able to sell the device with no problems. Even though total sales figures for the reader have not been released (we know it sold 50,000 units in Q1’2008), the company has made claims that it was one of the best-selling consumer electronics devices in their catalog.
On the Amazon website shows Kindle sold out for weeks. And, since it sells there exclusively, consumers are eager to get their hands on the new device, which (if the rumors regarding the launch are true) could lead to instant sales.
Speculation on Kindle 2 has been circulating the web for a few months now. People assume it will be a slimmer, sleeker design with a better screen, cheaper price and better overall style. The user interface of the current Kindle also leaves much to be desired, and consumers are hoping for improvements.
A device makeover might be exactly what Kindle needs right now to put it ahead of the e-book reader pack. The company is beginning to get stiff competition as new companies enter the market and take shots at the growing business trend. At the DEMO conference last year, a new startup, Plastic Logic, shared a prototype of the company’s 9.5 inch e-book and newspaper reader.
At the time of this writing, Amazon had no comment regarding any upcoming event or what their plans are for Kindle 2.0.