April 10, 2012, 7:47 AM —
Will the next generation of Amazon's Kindle eReaders feature a dramatic innovation, possibly a color or lighted display? Recent rumors suggest significant changes are coming for the venerable e-reader, which currently has an e-ink display without backlighting or color.
Why now? A possible explanation is that eReader sales aren't what they used to be. A March report from Digitimes Research predicted that global shipments of e-readers would reach just 2 million units in the first quarter of 2012--a huge drop from nine million shipments in Q4 2011.
Consumers, it appears, are opting for color tablets instead, a phenomenon that Digitimes Research calls a "substitution effect."
Let There Be Light
The latest Kindle display rumor comes to us courtesy of TechCrunch's Devin Coldewey, who says he got a sneak peek at Amazon's next-generation eReader with a "glowing" display. Coldewey, who lives in Seattle near Amazon's offices, says the front-lit Kindle will debut later this year. He writes:
"The device I saw was crudely camouflaged in a sort of cardboard enclosure, but the screen was clearly visible. With a tap, a slider popped up on the screen, and as it was dragged to the right, the screen lit up evenly with a rather cool light. In the dark, it was plainly noticeable as a glow, and in uneven light -- say, shade or a shuttered room -- the slight illumination made the screen much more readable."
At Long Last...Color?