According to The New York Times, Amazon is planning to announce a new Kindle, perhaps as early as this week. While the old Kindles were perfect for reading electronic books, the new Kindles will reportedly feature a screen about the size of a standard sheet of paper, perfect for reading newspapers and magazines in electronic form.
This could save the dying magazine and newspaper industries, and these old-school media giants know it. “We are looking at this with a great deal of interest,” said John Ridding, the chief executive British newspaper The Financial Times. “The severe double whammy of the recession and the structural shift to the Internet has created an urgency that has rightly focused attention on these devices.”
The main drawback of the Kindle is, according to some, the fact that the machine's E Ink lacks color. "I don’t think we would be anywhere near as excited about anything in black and white as we would about high-definition color,” said Tom Wallace, the editorial director of Condé Nast, publisher of glossy magazines like Vogue and Wired. “But technology changes at a pretty high clip these days, and if we are now in the Farmer Gray days, it will be only a very short while until we are in the video game era.”
Amazon says they've already enjoyed success with Kindle subscriptions to periodicals like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The New Yorker, charging up to $13.99 subscription fees for daily updates of newspapers and mags.
So far, Amazon hasn't spoken publicly about the possibility of a new Kindle, and neither has anyone else; even the New York Times wouldn't comment about the device to itself.
Personally, I love newspapers and magazines. There's something about the physical object of a newspaper or magazine that can't be duplicated on the internet, but I also realize that the number of periodicals I personally subscribed to has dropped from about five or six to a single magazine (The New Yorker...I'm pretty pretentious). What about you? Do you still read magazines, or are you internet-only?