's new Kindle has arrivedAfter months of rumors, Amazon's (AMZN) new version of the Kindle has finally arrived. In fact, there are two brand new models: a 3G edition priced at $189, while a Wi-Fi only model that will sell for just $139 -- $10 less than Barnes & Noble's (BKS) Nook e-reader, and the lowest price Amazon has ever offered for one of its devices. Both editions will be available as of Aug. 27 in more than 140 countries and 30 territories.

So what's new about these new 6-inch Kindles?
  • A new e-Ink screen with a graphite color option that Amazon claims has a "50% better contrast than any other e-reader"
  • A 20% faster page-turn rate
  • Double the storage capacity to 3,500 e-books
  • Up to a month of battery life
  • A lighter, sleeker build that's 21% smaller and 15% lighter than the previous Kindle model, which now weigh just 8.7 ounces.

About the only thing the new Kindles don't have is color, which won't be on the horizon until next year at the earliest.

CEO Jeff Bezos is understandably enthusiastic about these new devices, as he relayed in an interview with The New York Times. "The hardware business for us has been so successful that we're going to continue," he said. "I predict there will be a 10th-generation and a 20th-generation Kindle. We're well-situated to be experts in purpose-built reading devices."

Clearly the new versions of the Kindle are Amazon's definitive answer to many lingering questions about whether the retailer is in the hardware business for the long haul. Apple (AAPL) may have sold more than 3.3 million iPads, and Barnes & Noble is fast encroaching on e-reader market share, while Amazon still makes lots of money selling e-books through free software for seemingly every given platform under the sun.

Despite reporting second-quarter results that didn't meet with Wall Street's favor, Amazon's new device announcement should signal to investors that they are still very much in the hardware game -- and are determined to win on their terms.

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Maybe it's just me, but I hate those Kindle commercials and wouldn't even accept one as a gift. Wait six months, and somebody will do it better and cheaper. And hopefully, they won't have commercials with music that sounds like a two-year-old banging on a piano in a music store.

July 29 2010 at 5:15 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Actually, those who think forests will be saved are wrong. Paper is made from forests that are reused. After trees are cut down, more trees are planted to replaced the cut trees so that in time, those newly planted trees can mature and be used to make paper. Then the cycle starts again.

If you stop using paper, the forests will be cut down to make way for more housing developments, highways and strip malls. There will be no reason to plant more trees. Then the temperatures will get hotter, since roadways, houses, cars and lack of trees all contributed to the "heat island" effect.

July 29 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Does this mean more jobs lost in terms of my not needing the library, books, printing ink, paper products, and various other supporting industries that books entail? The electronic revolution is indeed a wonderful thing, but the jobs lost to the computerization of the country are, I'm sure, contributing to the current job situation, to no end! Progress, indeed has a price, and it appears that, along with the outsourcing of jobs to "cheaper" sources,has put us in a precarious spot! I have always wondered, "what do the former typists,file clerks,and others who's jobs were replaced with computer aided systems, do now to make a living?" Its a sure thing that the big box stores have not created enough jobs to keep all these people employed! Just talk to your neighbor looking for a job, he knows first hand what the situation is!!

July 29 2010 at 12:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I predict that if Amazon can keep improving its library of E-books. Eventually the hardware will be free if you get a subscription for 2 years.

July 29 2010 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I-Pad more better! You can wipe up spills with it.

July 29 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

...another forest saved. Hurray!

July 29 2010 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You never have to upgrade paper and it's compatible with everyone.

July 29 2010 at 9:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Considering that earlier, the Kindle was priced very close to Apple iPad, I think this is a great move by Amazon. When you are paying $250, you expect more from the device than just reading books.

July 29 2010 at 5:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shalinmangar's comment

Not everyone. I bought the larger Kindle for $400. I use it primarily during my commute and have no interest in doing anything with it except reading, occasionally buying new books and taking notes for those books. That's plenty.

If I need to do email, I have a PDA. Anything else can wait till I can get to a computer.

And if I'm not mistaken, IPad can't do real multitasking anyway.

July 29 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply