Amazon unveiled an updated range of Kindle ereading devices on 6 September which includes a new line of Kindle Fire tablets and a new front-lit device called the Kindle Paperwhite.
However, the new devices will not be available from Australian retailers in the immediate future. A spokesperson for Woolworths told Bookseller+Publisher that the company understands Amazon will reveal whether or not the new devices will be sold locally at a later date, and said Woolworths-owned stores, including Dick Smith, Big W and Woolworths supermarkets, will ‘certainly look to stock the new Kindle variants in the future’. ‘Woolworths are the exclusive bricks-and-mortar Kindle suppliers in Australia and the devices have been very popular with our customers,’ said the spokesperson.
The new Kindle Fire HD tablet will come in two screen sizes: a seven-inch device which will retail at US$199 (A$193), and an 8.9-inch device which will retail for US$299 (A$290). Both devices will have 16GB of storage and wifi connectivity, and will be available in the US in late November. A US$499 (A$484) version, which will feature 4G mobile technology and 32GB of storage, will also be available. The original Kindle Fire, which is still not available in Australia, has also been updated. The new version will be priced at US$159 (A$154) and available in the US in mid-September.
The Kindle Paperwhite has a built-in front light and an eight-week battery life, according to the Amazon’s statement. The device will be available in the US in October for US$119 (A$115), with a wifi, 3G version available for US$179 (A$173). Amazon also announced that the price for the standard Kindle will drop to US$69 (A$67).
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, Woolworths-owned chains began selling Kindle devices in August 2011. The stores currently stock the Kindle Keyboard, the standard Kindle, and two versions of the Kindle Touch.
Kobo also unveiled a new range of ereading devices this week, the ‘Kobo Family’, which will be available from local retailers starting in October.