Amazon has invited US journalists to a press conference, sparking speculation that it is about to announce the launch of the Kindle 2, the successor to its popular Kindle ebook reader.
By Claudine Beaumont, writing in The Daily Telegraph, 27 Jan 2009
Amazon is hosting a press conference at the Morgan Library in New York on February 9, leading to rumours that it will unveil a follow-up to its popular Kindle ebook reader.
The new device, expected to be named Kindle 2, will be smaller, thinner and easier to use than its predecessor according to inside sources close to the manufacturing process. Photos published on BoyGeniusReport show a slimmer-looking device with rounded edges, and a joystick instead of a click wheel.
The last time Amazon held a press conference, it was in November 2007 to announce the launch of its pioneering ebook reader, the Kindle. Although critics mocked the Kindle for its clunky design, initial supplies of the device sold out within hours of being listed on the Amazon website.
Although Amazon is yet to reveal sales figures for the original Kindle, some analysts have estimated that around a quarter of a million units were sold in the first eight months.
The Kindle, which is currently only available in the United States, can hold more than 200 books, and users are able to download new novels to the device over a special mobile phone network.
This also enables it to download newspapers, magazines and even blogs on-the-go, at the touch of a button. The device costs $359 (£255) and there are more than 150,000 books available in the compatible electronic format.
Electronic book readers have proven increasingly popular in recent months. Sony launched its rival to the Kindle, the Reader, in the UK last summer, priced at £200.