A bigger-screen version of the Kindle may be coming to market as soon as this week. The new e-ink device would arrive just three months after Amazon introduced the Kindle 2 and is expected to be optimized for newspapers, magazines and possibly even textbooks. The idea is that the current Kindle is fine for reading novels and the like, but a bigger screen device could help with newspaper and magazine layouts while giving these old-media companies a means to save millions on the cost of printing and distributing their publications.
The big hope is to somehow reverse the fortunes of the tumbling print news industry, allowing publishers to charge subscription fees and load their pages with advertising. Of course, they’ll have to compete with free online versions of the same publications that are quite readable on today’s portables and handheld devices like the iPhone. There’s also the issue of having to buy and carry around yet another device, which is likely to be just as expensive (if not more) as the Kindle 2 – unless Amazon and its partners offer some kind of subsidy.
In any case it seems like Amazon will have a more concrete announcement on Wednesday, when CEO Jeff Bezos will takes the stage at a press event in NYC alongside publisher of The New York Times Arthur Sulzberger.