Amazon to launch new, slim Kindles starting from Rs 23,999

  • Agencies, San Francisco
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2016 00:40 IST
Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is its slimmest, and most expensive, e-reader to date. (AP Photo)

Amazon Inc rolled out a new Kindle e-reader on Wednesday, its eighth and slimmest device in the series, with a charger that is built into its cover.

The Kindle Oasis, which will retail from Rs 23,999 in India, will be the most expensive in the range.

The Kindle Oasis weighs 4.6 ounces and is 3.4 mm at its thinnest point.

“It’s the most advanced Kindle we’ve ever built - thin and ultra lightweight, it gets out of the way so you can lose yourself in the author’s world,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

The point? “To make the device disappear,” said Neal Lindsay, vice president of Amazon Devices, “so that people can read without distraction.”

Amazon says the new Kindle is 30% thinner and 20% lighter than previous Kindles. It’s also asymmetrical, with a grip on one side for one-handed reading.

First launching the Kindle in 2007, Amazon has continued to roll out gadgets like its Fire tablets and, most recently, Echo, a line of voice activated speakers.

The Kindle has emerged as the most dominant e-reader in the market as Rakuten’s Kobo and Barnes and Noble’s Nook struggled to win customers.

Amazon hopes to attract readers to its high-end Kindle with its longer lasting battery and sleek design.

Dedicated e-readers can also serve as a gateway drug that helps attract attention other goods and deals on Amazon, including its Prime membership program.

“If you pick up a Kindle and read a book, eventually that may translate into watching Prime instant videos, joining Prime, or buying a physical book,” said RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian.

Like previous Kindles, the Oasis features a black-and-white screen designed to make reading easier. It features two batteries — one in the e-reader and another in its cover — which together stretch the battery life to 9 weeks of “regular” reading (30 minutes a day by Amazon’s definition) or months on standby. The Oasis and its cover charge simultaneously via one port.

You might wonder why Amazon keeps making more expensive Kindles, given that they do a lot less than the average tablet. In essence, they’re intended to keep a demanding bunch happy.

E-reader users are on their devices 4 to 5 hours a week on average, said Peter Hildrick-Smith, president of the consulting firm Codex. They’re far more dedicated than tablet readers, who only manage about an hour a week.

With e-readers like the Oasis, Amazon is “looking to keep their e-reading on the cutting edge,” Hildrick-Smith said. “What it’s not doing is appealing to people who aren’t already reading e-books.”

Global pre-orders for the Oasis start Wednesday; the device will ship on April 27.

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