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Friday , July 30 , 2010
 
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Amazon’s new Kindle faster, lighter, cheaper

July 29: Amazon.com will unveil its answer to Apple’s iPad and other devices seeking to replace its Kindle as the premier digital book reader.

It’s a third-generation Kindle that is lighter, smaller and faster than the current model — and also has a sharper display, longer battery life and twice the storage.

Amazon has added Wi-Fi reception for those who want to use a speedy Internet service to download e-books.

The model, which starts shipping on August 27, will be priced at $189, same as the current Kindle.

But Amazon hopes to rattle rivals by offering a version that just uses Wi-Fi for wireless connections which will sell for $139. That is about $10 below the least-expensive versions of Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the Sony Reader.

At these prices, “people are going to buy multiple Kindles for the household,” CEO Jeff Bezos told USA TODAY. “Remember: 33 months ago, Kindle was $399.”

Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey agrees: “Anyone who said: ‘I don’t want to get (a Kindle) because they’re too expensive,’ will look at $139, and say: ‘It’s time to become a digital reader.’”

Amazon has sold about 4 million Kindles in the US and will top 6 million by the year’s end, McQuivey estimates. It has two-thirds of the e-reader market. Yet, in 2012, multimedia tablet PCs, led by the iPad, will outsell dedicated e-readers, he says.

That is not all bad for Amazon. Owners of such devices can read e-books from Amazon using its free Kindle app. The US Kindle store has more than 630,000 titles. Still, Bezos is betting that lots of people will still want a dedicated e-reader.

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