New Kindle to Have Rechargeable Case, New Basic Kindle “Woody” On the Way

Solar KindleJeff Bezos has promised that we would hear more about the new Kindle next week, but thanks to a new leak we do not have to wait.

The WSJ confirmed my report from yesterday that the new Kindle had a battery-powered case, and added that we might not see it any time soon:

Also under development is a separate Kindle case with a battery that can be charged using solar power. It is unlikely this case will be released in the immediate future, another person familiar with the matter said.

...

The new Kindle and case are code-named "Whiskey" and "Soda," respectively, and the solar-powered case is known internally as "Sunkiss" among engineers at Lab126, Amazon's Silicon Valley hardware development unit, one of the people said. The division is responsible for other Amazon devices including its Echo virtual assistant, Fire tablets and Fire TV set-top box.

So it's a solar-powered case? Interesting, but not ground-breaking. There were third-party solar-powered battery cases for the Kindle Touch and the Kindle (no-touch). They were released in early 2012, and the quietly vanished as the stock was sold off. (You can see one of the cases in the lead photo.)

I have one of those cases, and I never thought it was worth the extra mass. It just wasn't useful enough to justify the nuisance, so I rarely used it.

It's not clear why Amazon is reviving that old idea, but one does hope that it points to a Kindle which needs the extra battery life (Liquavista ...). But that's for the future; what matters now is the Kindle to be announced next week.

While I don't have any details about the case codenamed "Soda", I can independently confirm that the codename "Whiskey", or rather "Whisky", has been found in the recent Kindle Firmware update.

Edit 1: And now we know the name is the Kindle Oasis.

Edit 2: Another leak confirms the battery-case, and that the Oasis has page turn buttons.

Edit 3: And Amazon has put the cherry on top with a leak on Amazon.ca.

A hacker has taken apart the update and found references to a new basic Kindle codenamed "Woody" as well as the Kindle "Whisky". He said that the new Kindle we're going to hear about next week lacks the haptic feedback found on the Voyage (yay!) but may have page turn buttons (double yay!) and accelerometers.

He called it a "hybrid between a PW and a Voyage", one which could run on the Paperwhite's firmware, and added that both the new  models "would run on a new storage solution at the HW level". Also, the "Whisky" model and the new "Woody" Kindle are going to use a new mainboard codenamed "Duet".

So there you have it, folks; we have not one but two Kindles in the pipeline.

And you read it here first.

About Nate Hoffelder (11581 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."

20 Comments on New Kindle to Have Rechargeable Case, New Basic Kindle “Woody” On the Way

  1. Hopefully you will get good battery life without a protective case. Thinner and lighter sounds nice IF you don’t need a case. Improved power usage has been rumored for some time.
    Hopefully more improvements than battery will emerge…!

  2. If it runs PW firmware it probably won’t be Liquavista.
    Unless Amazon introduces *three* new readers and Whisky is the next PW.

  3. An improvement I would like to see, but probably won’t, is an e-reader with an easily replaceable battery.

  4. I’m amazed how heavy the Paperwhite appears to be with the case on it.

  5. I’m so bored of shades of gray readers. Where is the color already?

  6. The desirability or otherwise of a case with photovoltaic (solar) charging has to depend in part on the efficiency of the cells. High efficiency = fast charging.

  7. And if they are both 6 inch readers that is a complete deal breaker for me no matter what fantastic things they could add. I will stick with the iPad mini/ using night shift and my Kindle DX until it dies.

  8. I don’t think it will be a lighted case unlike what the picture above suggests. I think they will reduce the battery in the new kindle to reduce weight and having the case will compensate (so that you don’t have to plug it in as often).

    • That would make sense, but I still hope that’s not it.

      IMO, the Kindle doesn’t need to be thinner. It’s fine the way it is.

      What is with this obsession with making mobile devices as thin as possible? It sacrifices function in favor of mere appearance. Nothing useful is gained.

      • Sort of agree. I don’t mind thinner or lighter…but at the cost of what?
        My wallet
        Battery life
        Screen quality
        Durability

        I am hoping that tech has improved enough to make advancements and additional features without sacrificing current features and quality.

        If the device were larger, thinner and lighter may become a real benefit. An 8 ounce 8″ or 9.7″ device would get my attention. Probably my dollars.

    • Personally, for non-PDF’s, I just don’t get the problem with a 6 inch reader. The few extra lines don’t mean a thing to me on a bigger device and it’s like the difference between paperbacks and hard covers; more ungainly and difficult to hold. The smaller size is well worth turning pages more often.

  9. What day of “next week’ do you think this announcement will be made? In past announcements, has Amazon had a favorite day of the week? If it isn’t Monday it is going to be a long week!

  10. Any further rumblings about woody? I truly wish they would update the DX.

10 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Report: Amazon's next Kindle may be super-thin, support a battery-charging case - Liliputing
  2. e-book-news.de » Bezos serviert Whiskey mit Soda: Neue Kindle-Reader & Akku-Cover geleakt
  3. Neuer Premium-Kindle soll Solar-Hülle haben, weiteres Mittelklasse-Gerät am Horizont » lesen.net
  4. Will 'Kindle Oasis' be the name of the new top-of-the-line e-reader from Amazon? - TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond
  5. Amazon's Next 8" Fire Tablet Leaks on Benchmark Site | The Digital Reader
  6. New basic Kindle, Fire HD8 models in the offing - TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond
  7. Amazon's Cheapest Fire Tablet Now Ships With 16GB Storage (for $20 Extra) | The Digital Reader
  8. DIY Solar Case for the Kobo Aura H2O | The Digital Reader
  9. How to Make Your Own Kindle Audio Adapter for Less Than $5 | The Digital Reader
  10. The New Basic Kindle Has Twice the RAM, Bluetooth, Still Costs $79 | The Digital Reader

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