The Kindle’s Colorful Future is a Boon for the Magazine Industry
Rumors about an upcoming color Kindle have been flying, starting with a Digitimes announcement that Amazon plans to launch the anticipated reader in the second half of this year. As consumers continue to crave more content, and as magazine publishers seek a larger readership, the Kindle’s future looks to be bright.
The updated Kindle will boast new technology to make it more visually alluring to readers. Instead of the traditional infrared touch panels used in the current Kindle, the new model will feature multi-touch capacitive panels created by TPK Holding Company. The Kindle will get its vibrant hues from newly developed color display panels from EInk.
The color Kindle’s launch date is still anybody’s guess. Industry watchdog publication, Digitimes, reported in February that the e-reader would launch as early as March, but June is here, and Amazon has yet to make a definitive announcement. In a recent update, Digitimes reported that Amazon has begun placing parts orders for the new Kindle and should be ready for launch sometime in the second half of 2012.
What about the other Kindles?
The Kindle Fire’s more obtainable price made it super popular, but its $200 price tag is still out of reach for some users. Even for those who wouldn’t mind spending the money–believe it or not–a tablet is not for everyone. A color Kindle could please the
segment of users who would rather stick to a simpler e-reader. These users don’t care to spend extra money for features they probably won’t use anyway.
In general, a lower price means a wider audience, simply because more people can afford devices in the price range of an e-reader than in that of a pricier tablet. And, if you’re
in the business of selling content, a wider audience is always better.
Amazon aims for more content
So, why introduce a color Kindle at all, when the original grayscale e-reader has performed so well on the market, even against full color tablets like the iPad? Developing a color e-ink display may indicate a new emphasis on pushing content for Amazon.
Magazine publishers have yet to fully commit to the Kindle because, as a grayscale e-reader, the device simply doesn’t do justice to the vibrant and flashy content so carefully
curated for magazines. Since Amazon’s primary goal for the Kindle is selling content, a wider distribution of color-enabled e-readers (beyond those who currently own a Kindle Fire) means a larger readership to offer to magazine publishers. A color e-ink Kindle would give Amazon a launching pad to make more headway into digital magazine and even textbook offerings.
Magazine publishers tend to prefer a color device that more closely resembles an e-reader than an iPad. This focused device helps to target the user base as serious readers rather than those who are mostly interested in other applications like gaming and web browsing. After all, e-reader owners purchase their devices strictly for reading books and magazines, not for playing Angry Birds!
The rumored color Kindle would be another platform on which to offer digital magazines, in addition to the iPad, Kindle Fire, and other tablets. In a business climate that often looks intimidating and dismal to the publishing industry, the colorful–yet affordable–new Kindle would surely be a welcomed addition to the e-reader market.