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The Kindle through the years


Take a look at the transformation of today’s most popular e-reader, the Amazon Kindle. Here, we examine the transformation of the Kindle from it’s original release in 2007 to the newest version released in 2016.

With the age of technology at it’s height right now, the world has seen many new versions of tablets and e-readers. They’ve transformed much since their beginning days with the ever-growing technology sector. Arguably, the most popular is the Amazon Kindle.

The first Amazon Kindle was released in 2007, with a 6 inch display and an actual keyboard with physical buttons (unheard of these days). Sales for the product skyrocketed when the first version sold out in five and a half hours and remained sold out for nearly 5 months. In the years following the success of the original, sales continued to grow until 2012 when they leveled off. From the Kindle 2, which could hold 1,500 books while the first versions mere 200, to the Kindle Fire which has a flawless touch screen, internet, apps etc., the Kindle has remained pertinent in society.


One way that Amazon has kept it relevant is by releasing a wide array of updates to their device since the original release in 2007. For instance, the Kindle Touch, released in 2011, was a touch screen device with a screen that still resembled a book page. It had three versions that could be bought: the regular version, the wi-fi enabled version, and the 3G enabled version that allowed for the purchase of books without need of internet connection. At that time, that was still a very new concept to people and the idea of buying books anywhere and everywhere led to its great success. However, it didn’t compare to the success of Amazon’s best version, the highly anticipated Kindle Fire. It was a tablet fully equipped with a beautiful touch screen display, internet, apps, and a notification software. When your apps needed updating or a book was done being downloaded, you’d get a notification, a software that Kindle previously had not had. To this day, the Kindle Fire is arguably the empire’s best version of the range of devices and many believe that any other doesn’t compare. In fact, many customers of the company announced concerns about the newest version the Kindle Oasis, released in 2016, unsure if it would do well in comparison with the Fire. It was priced at $290, two hundred dollars more than the average price for a Kindle. Yet still, Amazon insists that while sales haven’t surged in recent years like they did when the original was released, they still contribute with a large source of income for the company, even with the introduction of the more expensive Kindle Oasis.

Prices and statistics aside, there are many reasons the Amazon Kindle has done well. They are portable, convenient, and contain a whole library in just a single device. Moreover, they are affordable products that allow for any book to be sold in multiple languages, in a way that hadn’t been possible before. In years past, when a novel was released, it was months before a new country saw the same book in their language. Now, with e-readers like the Kindle, it’s possible for it to be translated instantly. Also instant is the download of a novel on it’s release date. It will appear on your device on the day it is released if you pre-ordered it, or can be easily purchased in the same day, by the touch of one button. Amazon is not ignorant to the people’s need for instant gratification and a variety of options.

But will the Kindle continue to prevail? Will we see a new version in 2017? Will physical books come back to fruition? Society says no. Sales may have leveled off for now, but the age of technology is among us, and predictions are high that we’ll be seeing Kindles far off into the future.

Sara Cormier