And as you can see in the screenshot below, there is also an orange bar with the helpful suggestion that you might want to consider buying the new model: the Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi (2014). And yes, that link works.
Amazon has quietly deployed a new product page (complete with a new ASIN) for a new Kindle Paperwhite. That's great news, but unfortunately it's not clear whether we have new hardware as well.
And that's where things get weird.
Amazon is directing customers to a new Kindle Paperwhite which is fundamentally identical to the model it replaced. The features are the same, and all of the listed specs are identical. Sure, there are a few minor differences in the descriptions, but there's no real way to tell that this is a new model.
According to the German ebook blog which noticed the change in July (I was sitting on the story), the 2014 model has twice the storage of the old model. That detail is not listed anywhere that I can see, but this has been confirmed by several different members of MobileRead.
What's more, earlier today AlleseBook.de posted a side by side screen shot of last year's KPW with this year's KPW. Note the different amounts of storage, and the different serial numbers:
Anyone who has been keeping an obsessive eye on Kindle news will know that there already was a KPW model with 3.1GB of storage floating. It was only available in Japan, but now it seems Amazon is selling it outside of Japan.
Apparently Amazon has very quietly started selling that particular Kindle Paperwhite variant in Europe (and Canada, I can now confirm) while calling it the 2014 model. And this has me very confused.
I was expecting that Amazon would launch a new Kindle Paperwhite this year. Even though the rumor about the Kindle Paperwhite Ice Wine fell through, I was still expecting to see an improved Kindle.
But with the news of the 2014 model quietly replacing the older model, I am left with more questions than I can answer.
Is this it? Does this Kindle mean we're not going to see a KPW with even minor improvements this year? Or was this a mistake on the part of Amazon?
I don't know. If anyone knows what is going on, the comments are open.
I queried Amazon for an explanation, but did not get a response by the time I published this post.
Update: According to Amazon, "This is not a new product – we’ve added more on-device storage to the existing Kindle Paperwhite."