Jeff 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.
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.