The $69 Kindle is Out of Stock – Could This be a Sign of a New Model on the Way?

Amazon-Kindle[1]Initially released in late 2011, the basic Kindle set a new standard in the ebook reader for minimal features at minimal price. With only minimal hardware updates (it was re-released in 2012 in black), it has proven to be a mainstay in Amazon's dominance of the ebook reader market. And now it seems to have begun to go out of stock. Update: A replacement model leaked. It's going to cost a little more and come with a touchscreen.

My competitor noticed earlier today that the budget-priced Kindle is no longer quite so budget priced. The ad-supported model which sold for $69 is no longer available on, and not so coincidentally, the $89 international model is not available either.

Amazon has replaced the buy button for these two models with links to marketplace sellers which have them in stock - a telling detail, IMO. When Amazon runs out of an item, they usually tell you how long you will have to wait before new stock arrives. The absence of that estimated arrival time raises questions as to whether the models will be back in stock.

kindle chinese

Update: The full priced basic Kindle is no longer available directly from, either.

While Amazon is still selling the full-priced version of this ereader for $89 (and it is still in stock on several of Amazon's European websites), the stock issue with the ad-supported model has my competitor wondering whether Amazon is going to upgrade it with a new model.

I'm not so sure.

The thing we have to keep in mind with the basic Kindle is that it is designed to be the cheapest Kindle which Amazon could make.  I don't see Amazon upgrading it, not unless the replacement can be made as cheap (or cheaper).

What's more, this Kindle model hasn't received a firmware update since January 2013. It's missed out on several major feature changes, including Goodreads integration. That suggests that Amazon is not investing in this model because they don't have any plans to keep it around.

In short, I think this model is on the way out.

If I were going to speculate, I would posit that either Amazon has decided they don't need a cheapie Kindle any more, or they could be planning to replace it with a Kindle Paperwhite whose price was knocked down to (say) $99.

Given the shrinking ereader market and the rise of reading ebooks on tablets and smartphones, I think the first possibility is the more likely one.

But this is pure crystal ball territory, so your guess is as good as mine.

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

21 Comments on The $69 Kindle is Out of Stock – Could This be a Sign of a New Model on the Way?

  1. One way this is unfortunate is that it’s another step toward barring a significant and growing segment of the population from reading e-books. Not because they cannot afford the devices but because all the available devices rely on touchscreens that they are unable to use for one reason or another. People with too much tremor, or not enough strength, or with prosthetic hands. I know two such people, and the aging of the population will create more. They need devices with buttons, and soon it appears there won’t be any.

    • Exactly! My 87 yo mothers Kindle Keyboard broke (well…she stepped on it ;)), and she can’t use a touch screen. Had to buy a used Keyboard for her. I think I’ll buy a couple more to have on hand just in case – we have a large Kindle library now, and are stuck with Amazon.

    • You are implying that physical books are already long gone? Buy granny a hardcover. They’re still huge and easy to handle.

      • Believe it or not, there are people who cannot handle print books, whether hardbound or paper, for whom an e-reader is the key to freedom. I know one.

        And while well-equipped geeks with nimble fingers and no vision problems have no difficulty in stripping the DRM and transferring the book to a device of their choice, not everyone is able to do so. For them the ability to buy books from the Kindle is very helpful.

        Just because you are not dependent on Kindle devices does not mean that everyone is so fortunate.

  2. I suspect we’ll see a cut-rate lit reader slotting in as the new basic Kindle.
    Whether it is merely a lower price Paperwhite (touch and all) or a touchless lit basic is a bit trickier. I think it’ll depend on whether anything else pops up (like a higher-res or Liquavista model).
    Absent a higher-end model, I’ll bet on a lit basic, button-driven Kindle.

    (Which would make me quite happy.)

  3. “Given the shrinking eReader market…” Are you sure?

    Yes, Sony and possibly Nook are going out of business but the market for eReaders taken as a whole is growing well.

  4. still has them in stock

  5. They knocked a paperwhite kindle for me down to $69 last week.

  6. The $89 version has also disappeared. It was still there an hour ago.

  7. I have a tablet, and a very nice one, and I sometimes read on my phone, but I always prefer to read on a basic Kindle. It’s cheap enough to be disposable/lost and the battery lasts forever. If Amazon stops selling at this price point, I’ll replace with something similar, not from Amazon, that runs the Kindle app.

  8. what’s wrong with using the kindle app its free? why buy a kindle, at all. i never did.

    • There’s also the cost of buying that gadget which is running the app.

    • Andrea, the free Kindle app is fine and I use it every day.

      I would say that if you have never tried an e-Ink reader you should give your eyes a treat. The experience of using an actual Kindle (not a Kindle Fire) is a revelation.

      • oh really, you have me curious now. i’m actually excited. lol
        i love to read there is nothing like it. but, due to illness my eyes are failing.
        let’s throw in audible also, an amazon company. i usually use the audio, to spare my failing eyes now. yet, it’s not the same experience or have the text is so large. it’s annoying to read.

  9. Kindle with Special Offers for $69 appears to be shipping in 1-2 weeks from Amazon. Without Special Offers is only being offered by other sellers.

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  1. Much Ado About Nothing: The Basic Kindle is Back at Amazon - The Digital Reader
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