Amazon Doubles Storage on Basic Kindle, Also Renames it as the 2019 Model

Amazon is sending mixed messages about their cheapest Kindle. On the one hand, they have dropped a hint that it could be replaced soon. On the other hand, they upgraded the storage (not something you do right before retiring/updating a model.

About two weeks ago Amazon quietly upgraded the storage in the basic Kindle. Previously that model had shipped with 4GB of internal storage, but according to the listing page on Amazon.com, it now ships with 8GB of storage.

This change was initially made earlier in the year, and at the time it looked like Amazon was simply replacing the basic Kindle with the matching Kids Kindle, which aside from the extra storage had essentially identical hardware. Now Amazon has made the change official.

This is great news for anyone who wants to buy a basic Kindle, but it also means that Amazon probably doesn’t want to replace it any time soon. Which is why it was so weird to read earlier this week that Amazon is no longer calling their entry-level Kindle simply the “Kindle”. Instead, they are calling it the 2019 model:

Amazon usually only does this right after they launch a replacement model. The usual unreliable source is now claiming that is exactly going to happen, but I don’t see it happening.

Not only it is too late in the year, but also I would not expect Amazon to officially upgrade the storage before retiring a model. No, you save the upgrade for the next model.

In any case, there’s something odd going on here.

 

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. 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.

5 Comments

  1. Disgusting Dude10 December, 2020

    Clearing out the pipeline?
    They probably cleaned out the stock of 4GB units and are eating into the 8Gb supply. They might have ordered a final batch to tide them over to spring, when they normally update the ereaders.
    It’s too late to intro a new model but the holidays is prime ebook selling season. The pandemic’s boost to ebooks probably messed up their schedules.

    Reply
  2. Kamen10 December, 2020

    Yes, this sends all the “mixed message” vibes.

    One reason most of the outpour of, er, facts on the unreliable source are pure drivel is the fact that, if there was a new, better, Basic Kindle in the works, it would step right on the Paperwhite’s toes. And Amazon, whatever their future plans for the Kindle e-reader line, know better than that.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder10 December, 2020

      Yes, there really is not a huge difference between the two Kindle models anymore.

      Reply
      1. Disgusting Dude10 December, 2020

        A new model can always have a better CPU and more storage without stomping on the Paperwhite’s higher resolution. And that’s without the Paperwhite getting a better CPU and more storage too.

        The eink reader market is mostly stagnant but not so stagnant that incremental tweaks can’t pay off with better sales.

        Reply
  3. Tom S11 December, 2020

    The 8GB model appeared some months ago (per posters at mobileread.com), but the product page, even as recently as Black Friday sales still said 4GB (but was soon updated). I suspect they had a backlog of 4GB models to sell before they could change the product page to what they were actually shipping out.

    But I’m confused: the current model is 10th generation, and there never was a 9th generation Kindle (Oasis is the only model with a 9th generation), see:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GKMQC26VQQMM8XSW

    Reply

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