Not only did the iPad not manage to kill the Kindle, it's selling better than ever. Of course, Amazon did have to slash the price down to $189 to pull it off, but it does prove the point poignantly: dedicated e-readers might really be here to stay. That could be especially true with a cheaper WiFi-only Kindle on the way, which Amazon is pricing at an even lower $139.
Rather than a way to attract new customers, Amazon thinks the Wi-Fi Kindle's low price will be a great motivator for people to buy more than one Kindle for their household. The new ebook-toting 3G-less handheld will come late August, along with a 3G version that will retail at the same $189 price. Both will feature exactly the same hardware and design, save for the connectivity capabilities.
Measuring 1/3 of an inch thick and weighing a svelte 8.7 ounces, the third-generation Kindles feature a 21 percent markdown in size, compared to last year's version. According to Amazon, the gadgets will be lighter than your average paperback novel, making them even easier to carry around.
They will feature sharper e-ink displays, with company CEO Jeff Bezos claiming 50 percent improved contrast due to a proprietary technology called "font hinting." Pages will supposedly turn 20 percent faster than the last version too, along with a revamped control layout for improved navigation and more accurate presses. Other improvements include twice as much storage (it can now handle up to 3,500 books), an enhanced PDF reader and expanded battery life (10 straight days if you leave 3G turned on).
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