Amazon Quietly Launches White Kindle in Japan, China

Amazon Quietly Launches White Kindle in Japan, China Amazon e-Reading Hardware For the past couple years Amazon has followed Henry Ford's maxim on color choices: you could have your Kindle in any color you want, so long as it was black.

With almost no fanfare, Amazon has quietly launched a new white basic Kindle in China and Japan. The new model is essentially identical to the $79 Kindle Amazon launched last fall, only in a new shell. It sports 4GB internal storage, wifi, an 800 x 600 resolution screen plus a touchscreen, and ties into Amazon's Kindle Store.

It has all the same great software as on the black model, and if you don't like the white color you can also order a case in any of 5 colors and 3 prints. The white Kindle is up for pre-order today for 499 yuan in China and 6,980 yen in Japan (that's the ad subsidized price), and is scheduled to ship next Wednesday.

I've queried Amazon, but don't have any info on when the white Kindle will ship in the US or the rest of the world. If and when it does arrive, you will probably find it on this page on Amazon: www.Amazon.com/white-kindle

Until then, I will be sitting here scratching my head. I'm not just puzzled by the exclusive launch; I also don't see why Amazon launched a white Kindle at all. It's not that black conceals dirt and smudges better than white, but also that there is a valid technical reason for choosing a black shell over a white one.

It's a known fact that a black shell will make an E-ink screen look whiter, while a white shell will make it look more gray. This simple fact explains why Amazon first went with a gray shell on the Kindles released in 2011, and then black on all models released in 2012 and later.

And now Amazon is bucking the trend.

eReader Palace

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. jjj31 March, 2015

    The price is way too high for China, not sure why they even bother if they can’t do half that.

    Reply
    1. kkll15 May, 2015

      That price is not high at all. You are hugely underestimating the average Chinese citizen’t income.

      Reply
  2. zetmolm31 March, 2015

    There is also a valid technical reason for choosing a white shell over a black one.
    My new reader has a white shell; my previous reader had a black one. To my surprise, reading with very narrow margins is now more comfortable than before: it’s as if the white shell is the margin of the page, and so a white shell makes the usable area of an E Ink screen larger.

    Yes, the screen looks more gray, but the frontlight on my reader takes care of that problem.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder31 March, 2015

      This new Kindle doesn’t have a frontlight, but I can see what you’re saying. It’s a point I hadn’t considered, but now I’m looking forward to a white Paperwhite.

      Reply
  3. […] Wie mich Kollege Nate von Ink, Bits, & Pixels und User trekk aufmerksam gemacht haben, gibt’s den weißen Kindle auch in […]

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  4. […] Amazon launches a white version of the Kindle eReader in Japan and China It’s been a few years since Amazon offered a white option in the US, possibly because black borders make the screen itself look whiter. But it looks like the company’s producing white versions of its latest Kindle hardware again. There’s no word on if or when we’ll see this version in the US or Europe. [Ink, Bits, and Pixels] […]

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  5. Basem31 March, 2015

    If you don’t mind, I disagree here! I use the current Nook Glowlight, along with the basic Kindle Touch, and think the white on the Glowlight really complements the blacks of the e-ink screen (it does help that the Glowlight, in my opinion, has a superior display to the Kindle Paperwhite). If given the chance before purchasing the basic Kindle, I would have chosen a white version, as the contrast is pretty good and the white bezel would work well with the Kindle’s display.

    I also like the covers for the Chinese Kindle – in my opinion, there needs to be more variety with covers e.g. covers with art prints, e.g. impressionist paintings, or commissioned illustrations (Barnes & Noble were good with their covers, before going in an unfathomable direction with the current Glowlight).

    Reply
  6. […] Amazon just launched a sleek all-white Kindle, only problem is it’s currently a Japan/China exclusive. Fingers crossed. [The Digital Reader] […]

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  7. […] last year Amazon quietly launched a white basic Kindle in China and Japan (and later, Europe) and now they're following suit with the Kindle […]

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  8. […] and is available in both black and white. (The white basic Kindle had previously been available in Asia and Europe, but not the US.) The new model sheds the excess thickness of the 2014 model, and Amazon […]

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