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Amazon unveils new-generation Kindle

world Updated: Jul 29, 2010 11:56 IST

Amazon has introduced a new generation Kindle with a electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast and a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body.

Though the new Kindle retains the same six-inch-size reading area, it weighs just 8.7 ounces - 15 percent lighter than the previous version.

Priced at $189, the new Kindle offers 20 percent faster page turns, one month of battery life, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi, and free 3G wireless, Amazon said Wednesday at the launch in Seattle near Canada.

"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running. We lowered the price to $189 and sales growth tripled. Now, we are excited to introduce a new generation Kindle that is smaller, lighter, and faster, with 50 percent better contrast," said Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer (CEO).

"Readers are going to do a double take when they see Kindle's bright new screen and feel how remarkably light the smaller 8.7 ounce design feels in one hand," he said.

For those who don't need free 3G wireless, Amazon has the Kindle Wi-Fi for $139.

"If you don't need the convenience of 3G wireless, we have an incredible new price point - $139 for Kindle Wi-Fi. Kindle Wi-Fi has all the same features, same bookstore, same high-contrast electronic paper display, and it's even a tiny bit lighter at 8.5 ounces. At this price point, many people are going to buy multiple units for the home and family," the Amazon CEO said.

According to Amazon, its US Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, including new releases and 109 of 111 New York Times best sellers.

Further, over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available on Kindle.

Amazon said it will start shipping the new devices in over 140 countries from Aug 27.