Will Amazon Release a New Kindle in 2017?

The wrapping paper and Christmas tree have been put out for the trash collectors, CES 2017 has come and gone, and unwanted gifts have been returned to stores.

With the holidays now a memory, the time has come to ponder what new gadgets will be launched in the coming year. We know for example that speculation is circulating to the effect that Apple is going to release three iPads this year, but what about Amazon?

Will Amazon release a new Kindle?

Will Amazon Release a New Kindle in 2017? Kindle

That is a simple question which has a complicated answer which can be summed up both as yes and no.

Yes, Amazon will announce a Kindle in 2017, but no, it won't be a new model. That sounds contradictory, I know, but it makes sense once we look at Amazon's history of Kindle launches.

For the past five years, Amazon has alternated between launching a new Kindle in even-numbered years and updating an existing Kindle in odd-numbered years.

Amazon launched the Kindle Paperwhite in 2012, and then launched the Kindle Voyage in 2014 and the Kindle Oasis in 2016. Each Kindle model was a completely new design with new features, new hardware, and new software.

In 2013 and in 2015, Amazon released an updated Kindle Paperwhite. The Paperwhite (2013) had an improved frontlight and Carta E-ink screen, and the Paperwhite (2015) gained a 300 ppi screen, but both essentially had the same physical design as the original model.

The later Kindle Paperwhites weren't new models so much as updates to the original, and they were released in odd-numbered years. They were improved models, yes, but the difference was only incremental rather than fundamental.

We have just started a new year, and it ends in a seven. That tells us that Amazon will update the Kindle Paperwhite once again, and save its new Kindle to be launched in 2018.

So if you are thinking of buying a Kindle when it goes on sale this year, and are wondering whether you should wait for the new model, don't wait.

We are in for a wait of a year or more before the next new Kindle model.

The best we have to hope for in 2017 is a new Paperwhite - perhaps one with a more-rugged plastic-backed screen, or with built-in speakers. But about 95% of its features already exist, and can be found in the current Kindle Paperwhite.

So is that hypothetical updated Kindle Paperwhite really worth waiting for?

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.

61 Comments

  1. tired9 January, 2017

    They’ve already refreshed the Paperwhite last year. They introduced a white version. I can’t think of any changes that can be made other than cosmetic without cutting into the Voyage and Oasis. This means that we might not even see a Paperwhite refresh this year. I think we might not see any new or refreshed Kindle this year at all.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 January, 2017

      I don’t know I would call that a refresh – not like increasing the screen resolution or going from Pearl to Carta.

      Amazon also released the accessible USB dongle last year, but I also wouldn’t call that a refresh either (it’s an accessory).

      Reply
      1. Tired10 January, 2017

        I think my point is that if Amazon increases the resolution or upgrades the screen then people stop buying the Voyage or the Oasis, which means they can’t do that until they do it on the top tier models first.

        Since the Oasis did not involve any upgrades when introduced last year, the Paperwhite can’t be upgraded this year.

        Reply
        1. tired15 October, 2017

          Looks like I was right.

          Reply
    2. Frank9 January, 2017

      Just adding the option to have a white shell does not count as a refresh, and Amazon doesn’t consider it a refresh either.

      Adding more LEDs (there are ten in the Oasis, compared to four in PW) and waterproofing the Paperwhite are things that could improve it.

      Reply
      1. Tired10 January, 2017

        They can’t waterproof the Paperwhite because the Voyage and Oasis do not have waterproofing. And if they thought that people cared they would have made the Oasis waterproof.

        They can’t add more LEDS because the Voyage has only six. See what I mean? You can’t provide meaningful upgrades the Paperwhite because there are two more expensive models that already have those upgrades.

        Reply
  2. Susab9 January, 2017

    Larger Kindle. By not releasing one and letting Kobo get ahead of them they have lost a lot of my business since I purchased the Kobo Aura One and now buy my books exclusively from Kobo. I love the Kobo Aura One and do not want to go back to a 6 inch screen. I really wish Barnes and Noble would come out with the larger e-ink.

    Reply
    1. Tired10 January, 2017

      Larger? That would mean a completely new Kindle or bringing the DX line back from the dead. If that were to happen it would be in 2018 not 2017.

      Reply
      1. tired15 October, 2017

        Looks like I was wrong.

        Reply
  3. Lemondrop9 January, 2017

    If they release a new Kindle, I predict it will be 6″. Boring.

    They might rip off Kobo’s red colored front-light innovation.

    Reply
  4. poiboy9 January, 2017

    i have been wanting a voyage 2 for awhile. hope its gets a second generation. adding something like a ComfortLight would be nice. hail mary request would be more fonts and typeset weights.. but its Kindle so i don’t hold my breath.

    Reply
    1. Tired10 January, 2017

      I think it is much more likely to see a Voyage 2 this year than a Paperwhite 4. The Voyage hasn’t been refreshed yet.

      Reply
      1. Nate Hoffelder11 January, 2017

        Here’s the thing about updating the Voyager: it’s a unique model – almost a souped up Paperwhite. The Voyage has a lot of features which are missing from the Paperwhite, and those features define it.

        What would you have if you changed the page turn buttons on the Voyage? Would it even be the Voyage any more?

        I think the answer is no. I think you would have a new kindle model, with a new name.

        Reply
        1. poiboy19 January, 2017

          well the screen is different on the voyage than on the paperwhite. and the voyage is almost 2mm thinner. i personally love the micro-etched glass display screen with no bezel and great haptic sensors. what they could do to upgrade it would be to add the blue-light filter. has anyone even tried surpassing the 300 dpi plateau that all ereaders seemed to have stalled at? that would be an interesting advancement.

          Reply
          1. Ingo Lembcke11 February, 2017

            Waited for an update to Voyage then they announced the Oasis, was underwhelmed and did not like the price. Bough reluctantly a second Voyage (one registered in Germany, one in the US).
            What do I want from a Voyage V2?
            Faster processor, it gets really sluggish when memory gets full (less than 200 MB free), I wonder why no one else mentions that.
            Bluetooth (Keyboard, sound), wireless charging, waterproof. Wireless charging should be no-brainer.

            On the software-side, more sort / search option, better browser with a link to some account, be it Apple or Google for syncing bookmarks etc.
            More Fonts, Add ons like a calculator, Evernote (and Goodreads linking for Germany, but I guess that is coming).

            A bigger Kindle (8-12″) with a frontlight would be nice, but also needs the Add ons. And I am rather not in the market for this device, for that I can use my iPad mini (Comics, PDF).

            Reply
          2. Brent Butler24 April, 2017

            Ingo, those are some good thoughts.

            I’m still hanging onto my DXs … bought at a bargain price on eBay and the one super-sale Amazon had to blow out their stock. For some reason I just found I prefer reading from that format rather than the smaller screens. I’d given up on a new-tech large screen Kindle, so it’s interesting to see people discussing it.

            Reply
  5. Anne Barnett9 January, 2017

    I am quite content with my Voyage. If they release a waterproof edition, I would buy it. Not interested in the Oasis.

    Reply
    1. Anne Barnett10 January, 2017

      I would buy a waterproof Paperwhite, if they offer that. I don’t know why they haven’t offered a waterproof Kindle yet, when their smaller competitors have done so. That’s the only Kindle refresh that interests me.

      Reply
      1. poiboy19 January, 2017

        there is a company on amazon that will waterproof your kindle.. you pay an arm and a leg though, lol.

        Reply
      2. Elizabeth Glass13 March, 2017

        Same here. My Voyage kept throwing overheating messages when put it in the plastic reader bags while in a pool. My Paper White never did that. Now I probably could have taken the battery cover off, but we all know that would have lasted a hot minute.

        Reply
  6. PATRICIA HANKINS9 January, 2017

    Will Amazon bring back mobile to a. New Kindle. I hope so, I loved my Kindle HDX with both wifi and mobile connection. This will give only models are not the same

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 January, 2017

      That is a Fire Android tablet, not a Kindle ereader.

      I am making that distinction because the Kindle still has mobile; it is only the Fire tablet which does not.

      Reply
  7. Scott foresman9 January, 2017

    Prices of ebooks are still too high. I have almost stopped purchasing ebooks as a result.

    Reply
  8. Tired10 January, 2017

    My problem is that while the Paperwhite has been updated twice every other year, that does not imply that it is somehow a natural law that it must be updated every other year.

    We have to face reality. Reality is that there has not been an upgrade in eink screen technology in four years! A refresh did use to mean a meaningful update in the readers but not anymore. The 8th generation kindle launched last summer was almost identical to the 7th generation kindle. And the Oasis used exactly the same screen tech as the Voyage and Paperwhite 3. I call adding buttons a superficial change. We’re in the realm now of gimmicks. Changing colors, bezel designs, number of leds. Things that do not make for meaningful changes.

    If the Paperwhite is changed this year (but I think that it’s more likely to be the Voyage) it will be in a way that is superficial and not memorable. Like it might be slightly thinner and lighter.

    Reply
    1. Lemondrop10 January, 2017

      There are options. Amazon could release different sized ereaders. Also they can improve front-lighting.

      Reply
  9. Rick10 January, 2017

    The only option is to go Larger.

    Reply
  10. BDR11 January, 2017

    Well, they launched that 32GB Paperwhite in Japan in 2016 that they will likely introduce here in 2017. Same device, just more storage.

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/a-kindle-for-your-manga-amazon-launches-32gb-paperwhite-for-japan/

    Reply
  11. dhdfsioihvbjhhjj13 January, 2017

    Equipping the Voyage with adjustable frontlight colour as in the Vision 4HD or the Aura One would be worthwhile. Better even, if that were done to the Paperwhite, since that might pressure the Tolino brand to put the same into a Shine 2HD successor.

    Reply
  12. David Sims19 January, 2017

    What would make an updated Kindle Paperwhite worth buying?

    1. An SD card memory expansion slot, up to 32 GB so you can carry 600 years’ worth of reading around with you.

    2. A faster CPU and more RAM.

    3. An internal battery with substantially greater capacity.

    What a Kindle Paperwhite does NOT need:

    A color screen. Resolution higher than 300 ppi. A case that doesn’t look as good as the ones FINTIE sells, but costs more.

    Reply
  13. Will O'Neil19 January, 2017

    My sense is that the market for Kindles is squeezed on the one hand by the excessive prices of major-publisher titles and on the other by cellphones. I’m finding that my iPhone 6s Plus is fine for reading (for as long as the battery lasts), so I no longer feel the need to take my Kindle for opportunistic reading.

    I’d be really surprised if the Kobo is a serious factor for Amazon.

    I must say that I find that the Oasis really is the way to go for serious reading. I don’t regret spending the money.

    But to each his own.

    Reply
  14. David Sims20 January, 2017

    I find something very satisfying about the paperwhite. Technically, there is room for improvement, but the look and feel just seems right. It is very good with ergonomics.

    You’re right about the high prices of e-books. My Amazon Wishlist has about 30 books that are marked “Wait for price to drop.” Usually, the price does come down in a few years, and I have enough books already to keep me reading for at least that long.

    Reply
  15. bkydcmpr27 January, 2017

    I’ll upgrade my kindle if they release a new paperwhite with usb-c. I no longer carry anything not usb-c. my laptop/tablet/phone/external storage/monitor/charger all use usb-c exclusively, so the kindle is on the shelf now.

    Reply
    1. poiboy27 January, 2017

      i guess you’ll never be upgrading your kindle then. the unit doesn’t require anything more than the micro-usb it has used for a good many years. small book file sizes and charging doesn’t require the next-gen abilities of usb-c. future amazon tablets perhaps.

      Reply
      1. Pradeep13 May, 2017

        you can simply buy an adaptor for your USB to “C type” and that would do the job and you don’t need an entirely new upgraded PaperWhite for that….

        Reply
  16. Kthx76 February, 2017

    “They might rip off Kobo’s red colored front-light innovation.”

    I’m still holding onto my 1st gen Kindle Paperwhite. And I’ll tell you, if they indeed rip off Kobo’s red colored front light, I would upgrade it right away.

    Reply
  17. Javi9 February, 2017

    Perhaps a kindle with IMX 7…

    Reply
  18. Maxim9 February, 2017

    eInk has reached the end of its development and this year’s Amazon Christmas sales were about the Echo.

    The future is mobile and multi-use devices like the Kindle Fire and that is where their development bucks will go.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 February, 2017

      No, it won’t be the Fire tablet, either. The bottom is dropping out of that market almost as fast as it is the ereader market.

      Reply
  19. Tyler10 February, 2017

    I would buy any Kindle tomorrow if it was waterproof. The WaterFi model is ridiculously expensive – for that price, I’d go to the Aura One. I think they could make the Paperwhite waterproof and with the Bluetooth TTS option the Kindle 8th Gen has, without cutting into Voyage/Oasis sales – and I think that the Voyage is on a short list to be cut, anyways, because it’s a solution in search of a problem.

    Reply
  20. guri.11 March, 2017

    i’ll predict the larger storage model like the japanese manga model, like the previous example.

    Reply
  21. David Sims11 March, 2017

    Kindle FIRE will need to have a much longer-lasting battery before it will serve as a good e-reader. Also, its software does everything it can to force you to buy/download only Amazon videos. If you just transfer a downoaded video to the Fire, it won’t play. Even a cheap android tablet can play videos downloaded from anywhere, so instead of another FIRE, next time I’ll just get an All-Day-Mall tablet: more function, less cost.

    Reply
    1. Thomas11 March, 2017

      I’ve got to disagree with this. If I’m only reading, the battery lasts longer than I can stay awake, so unless I’m in the middle of nowhere, I can always recharge before I run down.

      As far as the video issue is concerned, you can download any number of working video players from the Amazon appstore, like VLC.

      Reply
  22. oic13 March, 2017

    They need to upgrade kindle’s storage, increase the ppi, increase battery life, add bluetooth!!! since they remove audio, and increase manga reading speed (this feature was added to the japan kindle, but not the US)

    Reply
  23. David Sims13 March, 2017

    The storage could be upgraded to 8 GB, certainly. The cost of 8 gig of flash memory is only a little higher than for four gig – just pricecheck SD cards here on Amazon. You have to wonder why the Kindle’s storage wasn’t upgraded all the way to 8 GB instead of to 4 GB in 2015.

    The battery life definitely needs to be, at the least, restored back to what it was in the earliest Paperwhites. Also, the ability to turn the device OFF (like a Kobo can be turned off) should exist, to further conserve the battery’s power. If you haven’t already noticed, a Kindle’s battery will run down even if you turn the light all the way down and keep the cover shut, while a Kobo ereader’s battery will remain charged for far, far longer.

    No further increases to the screen resolution (PPI) needs to be made. The average reader’s eye wouldn’t notice improvements beyond 300 PPI, which is PLENTY GOOD ENOUGH.

    However, the Kindle Paperwhite would benefit from a higher capacity battery, a faster CPU, more RAM, and a memory expansion slot for an SD card. The SD card slot is mostly an alternative route for transferring books between Kindle and computer, in case you lose your data cable. It would allow the owner to carry 600 years’ worth of reading around with him, but that wouldn’t be the point.

    Reply
  24. David Sims13 March, 2017

    A condensed form of the Bookerly typeface would be nice. I presently use Caecilia Condensed.

    Reply
  25. hb14 March, 2017

    Colour screen

    Reply
    1. Javi15 March, 2017

      hopefully but…

      Reply
  26. David Sims14 March, 2017

    No color screen for me. That’s what Fire is for. I just want black text on a white, evenly backlit, background.

    Reply
  27. Elissa19 March, 2017

    The only way I would buy a new Kindle is if it was waterproofed and/or developed NICE colored e inc for images. The current Kindle is way too sensitive to water; I have to have mine, which is pretty new, fixed because my screen won’t respond to touch after a few drops got on it, despite being wiped off immediately and seemed to be fine. It would also be really nice to be able to see the colored images for textbooks, pictures in the Kindle versions of children’s books, comics, graphic novels, ect. Otherwise I am perfectly happy with my Paperwhite 3 and would not waste money on replacing it. I also wouldn’t waste money on a Fire when I can buy a better tablet and just download the Kindle app.

    Reply
  28. kns31 March, 2017

    Love the voyage compared to paperwhite or oasis — run out of power on the oasis before I am done reading for the day. what I would love is audible support like the original kindle, maybe allow installing sd cards for the big audio files. Then I can ditch our glitchy fire tablets. Hate giving those to the kids because they are distracted by games

    Reply
    1. Frank31 March, 2017

      If you are running out of power in one day, then your Oasis may not be connected to the battery case. Without the case, the ereader has a small battery.

      Reply
  29. Dan Becker8 April, 2017

    I don’t know if it’s worthwhile, but my family of voracious readers is going on a long vacation this July. We are in fact waiting for the last minute to buy a 4th kindle just in case an improved model launches. (We currently have 2 Paperwhites and a Touch – not quite enough for a family of 4 trying to bring 3 weeks of reading to Europe!)

    Reply
  30. Cogito7 May, 2017

    How an upgraded kindle should be:

    – 7″ screen size (I am planning on buying a new device only on this feature alone)
    – splash proof (I am not talking about waterproof here, if the device can sustain a bit of dust and water it is good for me)
    – blue shifting technology (like voyager)
    – light sensor for automatic brightness (like voyager)
    – more reading features for PDFs (I am not talking about mangas here, there are tons of books, abstract, working papers that only use this format)
    – more settings (font type, font size, margins, etc)
    – same weeks long battery life (new kobos only last 1 week!)

    Reply
  31. Pradeep13 May, 2017

    I agree and I would go with simply the following features:

    1. Audible capability with excellent speakers

    2. Water proofing & extra sensitivity in the extremely hot temperatures would be amazing as I read a lot by the pool or in the jacuzzi

    3. A 7 to 7.5″ screen is absolutely ideal as most phones are now 5-6″ if not more and a book needs to feel larger than the phone.

    4. More ergonomics so that it doesn’t easily slip off….there is absolutely NO need to make it lighter and in fact I love the feel of the PaperWhite and am happy to keep it on the heavier side so that it feels like I’m holding a book!

    5. Extra memory is an absolute no brainer and the bare minimum standard should be 16 – 32GB and I can’t believe Amazon has the audacity to sell a $300+ Oasis with a tiny 4GB card….that’s quite sad (seems like they’ve
    bought millions of 4GB cards that are just lying in their warehouses and they need to use them up).

    6. Also if the charger cable can change to the new standard USB ‘C TYPE” that would be great as are my other devices.

    7. Blue shifting technology would be great along with the light sensor for auto adjustment

    8. A massive upgrade in the “additional software features” like “fonts/type/margins/layouts, etc…” is an absolute must for Amazon to stay ahead and not act like the sleepy arrogant giant.

    PRAYING FOR THE ABOVE FOR THIS X’MAS! 😉

    Reply
  32. tired24 June, 2017

    I’ve had alot of different ereaders. Thinking about size, the 5 inch is way too small and cramped, the 6 inch is acceptable but 7 inch is deal for balancing line width and font size, and the 8 inch it’s just a bit too big.

    Now the 6 inch fits in my pocket, and it’s probably the biggest size that does. So in that sense the classic 6 inch is ideal. But I really prefer 7 inch. It would be nice for Amazon to offer that choice.

    I’ve really grown to like the autolight sensor on the Voyage and the flush screen. The glossy bezel though… no. It should be matte like Paperwhite to not have glare and not show smudges. The white PW has a boundary that under strong light is so bright that the screen will always look grey (even maxing out the light). The black PW doesn’t suffer this problem but it is easier to see how the light changes the ink from black to grey. I really think that they need to bring back graphite as a color option.

    So my dream Kindle would be:
    * 7 inch screen
    * flush bezel
    * matte finish bezel with graphite color instead of black or white
    * autolight sensor

    Reply
    1. tired15 October, 2017

      This new model meets 3 out of 4 of my dream Kindle requirements. Not bad.

      The only thing it lacks from that list is a matte finish (to lower reflections) and graphite color.

      Reply
  33. Frank16 August, 2017

    November 2017 is the ten-year anniversary of the Kindle’s first release. Maybe something will happen at that time?

    Reply
  34. Surya19 October, 2017

    I also want the same as Cogito says,
    7? screen size (I am planning on buying a new device only on this feature alone)
    – splash proof (I am not talking about waterproof here, if the device can sustain a bit of dust and water it is good for me)
    – blue shifting technology (like voyager)
    – light sensor for automatic brightness (like voyager)
    – more reading features for PDFs (I am not talking about mangas here, there are tons of books, abstract, working papers that only use this format)
    – more settings (font type, font size, margins, etc)
    – same weeks long battery life
    – experimental browser to full fledged browser with only text and image support.

    Reply
  35. […] recent record of predicting new hardware is mixed (for example, I was only half right on my Kindle prediction from January). That's why I am hesitant to speculate about what is coming next, but I can relate what we know is […]

    Reply
  36. Jane20 January, 2018

    The author speaks of “Kindle” and “Paperwhite” as if they’re one and the same, then saying one might be updated but not the other. This is too confusing (I thought all the different models were also called “Kindle.”)

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder21 January, 2018

      I do not see what you are seeing.

      Reply

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