The Kindle 3 has made a lot of people wonder about the Kindle DX 2.
DX 2 doesn’t have WiFi and it’s missing a lot of the cool software additions that Kindle 3 has. The logical conclusion would be that sometime this year we’ll see a Kindle DX WiFi and a firmware update for Kindle DX 2 that adds the missing features (with the exception of WiFi).
Well, things got really interesting on August 23rd because the Kindle DX 2 got sold out. Currently, it’s ‘expected to ship in 2 to 3 weeks’. Thanks to a commenter at MobileRead for pointing this out.
Did the Kindle DX 2 really sell out?
Here’s what the Kindle DX 2 has going for it –
- Large 9.7″ eInk Pearl screen.
- $379 price that is $110 cheaper than the price the Kindle DX was selling for.
- Graphite casing.
Here’s what the Kindle DX 2 doesn’t have going for it –
- Kindle WiFi that is just $139, has the same eInk Pearl screen (although in a 6″ screen size), and has lots of additional features including a WebKit browser and better PDF support (Kindle 3 has these improvements too).
- Kindle 3 that is $189, has 3G plus WiFi, and loads of improvements the Kindle DX 2 doesn’t have like battery life of up to a month, 20% faster page turns, and 3 new fonts (Kindle WiFi has these too).
- The ridiculous amount of buzz that Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi have.
It’s a little bit of a stretch to believe that the Kindle DX 2 is sold out for 2 to 3 weeks when the Kindle WiFi is available for $139 – You could buy 2.7 Kindle WiFis in the price of a DX 2.
My money’s definitely on the ‘2-3 week delay’ being due to something other than the Kindle DX 2 being sold out.
Could it be issues producing the 9.7″ eInk Pearl screens?
It’s quite possible that the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are selling so well that eInk/PVI has been forced to channel all its eInk Pearl production facilities to 6″ screens. Again, a commenter at MobileRead pointed this out and it’s quite probable. Definitely likelier than the DX 2 selling out.
This becomes even likelier if you consider that Nook 2 and Sony 650 are probably going to need 6″ eInk pearl screens too. The yield rates for a screen like the DX 2 screen that is 2.5 times the screen area are generally much lower so PVI/eInk probably feels it can make a lot more 6″ eInk Pearl screens by channeling capacity from 9.7″ screens to 6″ screens. Perhaps demand for 6″ screens due to Kindle 3, Nook 2, and Sony 650 is so high it’s forcing PVI to delay Kindle DX 2 screen production.
Note that Nook 2 and Sony 650 aren’t selling yet but if they are set to release in September PVI has to ship screens out for them right now.
Could it be a new Kindle DX WiFi?
This is a tough question to answer –
- On the one hand the release of the Kindle WiFi strongly suggests that Amazon has a Kindle DX WiFi set for release.
- On the other hand the Kindle DX 2 was released just a couple of months ago and it didn’t have WiFi. Would Amazon ship a Kindle DX 2 with just 3G and then a few months later ship a Kindle DX WiFi?
While it is possible that there is a new Kindle DX WiFi set for release it doesn’t seem that likely.
Could it be Kindle DX 3 with WiFi and 3G?
This is super unlikely. It would be madness to release a Kindle DX 3 with 3G and WiFi a couple of months after a Kindle DX 2 and we can pretty much rule this out.
You have to wonder whether Amazon might go ahead and release a Kindle DX WiFi that is purely WiFi. Lots of people don’t get AT&T wireless reception or have WiFi at home or want a cheaper Kindle DX – a DX WiFi would meet their needs perfectly.
It could probably come in at $250 to $300 and ignite DX sales.
Could Amazon simply be adding new features to Kindle DX 2?
Perhaps Amazon decided to add a lot of the software features in the Kindle 3 to new Kindle DX 2s. Yes, it can do this through wireless updates – However, consider the cost and the complexity. The Kindle 2.5 upgrade was a nightmare and Amazon might have decided to hold back new Kindle DX 2s and send them out with whatever upgrade they’re planning for the DX 2.
This possibility (that Amazon is waiting for a DX 2 upgrade to be ready) and the possibility that eInk/PVI is running into DX 2 screen production issues are the two likeliest possibilities.
Of course, given its Amazon it’s probably going to be a Kindle DX WiFi that comes in at $250 and helps Amazon dominate the large screen eReader market totally. Perhaps Amazon has decided it’s not enough that the Kindle 3 has saved the eReader market from the iPad – It also wants to make sure the iPad doesn’t kill off the large screen eReader market.