To the chagrin and disappointment of Kindle fans everywhere, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos today told investors that a color Kindle was “still a long way out.”
This comes at a time in the Kindle’s history when it is not merely under intense competition from other electronic reading devices that sport similar e-ink technology, but also the recently released Apple iPad which has digital reading capabilities.
The iPad has been selling shockingly well, even to the surprise of Apple itself who was relatively unprepared for the vast consumer demand that manifested. The iPad’s release around the States and larger globe has been delayed and pocked with shortages.
The iPad sports a color screen, but relies on different tecnology than the Kindle for its display. The Kindle uses e-ink, the iPad uses conventional display technology . The iPad display consumes more power, and can strain the eyes during long reads, but has a faster page turns, fluid animations, and as mentioned before, color.
The high sales of the iPad are putting pressure on the Kindle to innovate technologically to keep pace with the new slate computer. Many people have been hoping for a color enabled Kindle to both enrich the product line and to keep Kindle at the forefront of e-reading; Amazon investors especially so.
With today’s announcement the Kindle will remain nearly as-is for at least the next quarter it seems. This will either be a continuation of a strong product or the maintenance of an out of date gadget as the halo device for Amazon. Perhaps it depends on your perspective, but for now there is no color Kindle coming.