Amazon to use an HD Screen on the Next Kindle? I Say Kindle Smartphone

A company not named Apple is holding a press event next week, and some interesting rumors have started to circulate. While all I know at the moment is that a couple Kindle bloggers have been invited, Geekwire has been told that Amazon is working on a device with a screen resolution of 1024x768.

If true then that is a rather curious number. It's a completely different screen geometry from that of the Kindle Fire, and by the standards of some screen fetishists it would now qualify as low resolution on a 7" screen. Since Amazon isn't likely to set themselves up for ridicule, it seems likely that this screen is attached to a smaller device.

Assuming the rumor is real, of course.

But what is the device, I wonder?

There's a chance that this might be the HD E-ink screen which LG unveiled earlier this year. That screen is both higher in resolution as well as not available outside of Russia (Wexler) or China (Onyx). If the next Kindle used it Amazon could instantly set the new Kindle apart from the Nook Touch and Kobo Touch. The new device could also be pitched as being more durable than any existing ereader thanks to the flexible screen (video).

But it would also set the new Kindle apart from all the existing Kindles. Unless Amazon plans to replace them all (and we know only one possible Amazon device has cleared the FCC), the new Kindle would be the odd duck in the lineup. It would cost more and it might even tempt people to do stupid things with one of the other models because they got confused as to which was which.

That's why I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we could be looking at a Kindle smartphone. I know that I've heckled this rumor several times, but there's always been the chance that I was wrong. The rumor has been going around for a few months now, and while there's no evidence to support the idea it's not entirely impossible.

Smartphones with a screen resolution of 1024x768 have been released at one point or another, so clearly that screen geometry is a possibility. And it's also possible that the Kindle smartphone cleared the FCC without anyone noticing; I wasn't watching and those who were might not have known about the smartphone rumor.

I've jokingly called Amazon's smartphone the Amazon Blaze, but that was mainly because I was paying homage to a 1 April joke  from 2011. I don't know for sure that it exists, muh less whether it has a 4", 5" or whatever sized screen.

Still, it's not the craziest thing I've heard. That would be the rumor of multiple Kindle Fires in the works for this fall. Given that only one is know to have cleared the FCC, that seems unlikely. And so does that rumor about the Kindle Fire getting free 3G (that doesn't even pass the snicker test).

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

10 Comments

  1. Peter27 August, 2012

    Any chance of Pixel Qi?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder27 August, 2012

      Probably not.

      But you wouldn’t want it, anyway; it’s not as good as either LCD or E-ink.

      Reply
  2. AlanW27 August, 2012

    The geekwire report isn’t surprising. Presumably, all the major vendors are testing LG’s HD E-ink screen. It would be a bit surprising, but very welcome, if the next Kindle used the screen, because of the massive number of screens required by Amazon.

    I don’t think the change in resolution is a major impediment on the software front, the Kindle DX is 825 × 1200 for example.

    Reply
  3. cookie27 August, 2012

    1024×768? I say it is a new kindle e-ink reader, non-flexible. Wagers?

    Reply
  4. Mike Cane27 August, 2012

    1024 x 768 is iPad classic resolution. So their large tablet is either going 9.7″ iPad size at 4:3 or they intend to beat the iPad Mini to market with a smaller 4:3 device. Now I wonder if it will be eight inches, like Archos has. That would actually be nice.
    http://mikecanex.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/want-to-glimpse-an-ipad-mini-see-an-archos-80-g9-tablet/

    Velocity Micro is the only other vendor coming out with 8″ at that res.

    OTOH, the 1024 x 768 could be pure BS.

    We’ll see. I can wait.

    Reply
    1. fjtorres27 August, 2012

      An 8″ XGA Fire would get my attention the way a 16×9 model wouldn’t.
      But I suspect we’re more likely to see a Premium Frontlighted eink kindle.

      Reply
  5. DavidW27 August, 2012

    Amazon already knows that they have to complete with retina hd ipad, so no that resolution is not for a 10 inch kf2. Despite the rumors I don’t amazon going into the smartphone biz, it is a very saturated market and the glorified ereader/amazon storefront doesn’t cut it. People want their phones to be very general use.

    This must be either a new kindle, or a 4:3 normal sized kf2.

    Reply
  6. Mike Cane28 August, 2012

    Bezos: “We have a new tablet today. We’re calling it … the kPad.”

    Cue Apple lawyers.

    Reply
  7. Razvan T. Coloja28 August, 2012

    How about backlighting? There were reports a few months ago about a Kindle with backlighting/sidelighting in the works.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder28 August, 2012

      I’m pretty sure the new Kindle cleared the FCC a couple weeks ago and I could not see any sign that the FCC tested the frontlight. So I’m not sure it has one.

      Reply

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