Update: 29th September 2011 – Kindle 4 On Sale Now
Color Kindle 4 Screen
There is a reasonable chance that when the new Amazon Kindle 4 is released, it will have a color screen. There is no doubt about it, this would look really cool. But the question I have is, how much practical use will it be?
Of course, for those of you who would like to read magazines on the Kindle, it would be pretty nice. But what about those of us who simply use Amazon’s electronic book reader for its primary function, to read books? A color screen does not help out too much in this regard.
But in the interests of progress, a color Kindle could well be one of the developments that Amazon are planning. If I am being perfectly honest, I would prefer to see a Kindle touch as I think this would be of more immediate practical use. That said, we might get both!
Color Kindle Review
Who Makes The Kindle Display? It is a company called E Ink whose E Ink Pearl display was used in the Kindle 3. They have recently developed a newer technology called E Ink Triton which is a color display technology that is just as easy to read as the current Grayscale displays.
An interesting bit of trivia is that E Ink does not stand for electronic ink but rather electrophoretic ink. Electrical charge acts upon pigments inside tiny capsules containing a clear liquid to move either black or white pigments to the front. At present the E Ink Pearl technology can display shades of gray as well. The Triton technology is able to display over 4000 colors!
The beauty of the color display is that it is based on the same technology as existing Electronic Paper Displays (EPDs). These displays reflect light rather than producing it like computers, laptops, iPads and so on. This means that reading them in direct sunlight is just as easy as reading real paper.
Kindle Color Display Benefits
Of course, for anyone wanting to read a color magazine on Kindle, the E Ink Triton technology would be really sweet. Cookbooks could also come to life because at present, the Kindle versions are a poor substitute for the real thing.
There are going to be some definite advantages to a color Kindle when, rather than if, it is released. The real question is whether Amazon are able to manufacture one at a price that will be attractive to consumers.
Color Kindle Release Date
At the moment we can only guess at the release date of the color Kindle. Assuming that the 4th generation model has this feature, it is a safe bet to say that it will come out either this year or in 2012. But this is not a particularly specific estimate. The Wikipedia page has a List of Amazon Kindle models. On this list you can see that the minimum amount of time between each major release has been 1 year and 3 months (between the Kindle and Kindle 2 coming out). So at best we could hope for the next model to be coming out in November of 2011.
The benefit to Amazon of bringing out a color Kindle by this time is that they would undoubtedly sell hundreds of thousands of units before Christmas. However, with the success of their hand held readers to date, we can be sure that they will not rush a product to market if they are not 100% satisfied with it.
Therefore my own personal opinion is that we shall not see the next version of the Amazon Kindle reader on sale until the start of 2012 at the earliest. Of course, I may be proved wrong.