Big-Screen Kindle Coming Wednesday

Amazon (AMZN) will likely unveil a large-screen version of its Kindle e-book reader — designed for reading newspapers and magazines electronically — on Wednesday. The company has scheduled a press conference at Pace University in New York that morning.

The idea is that the current Kindle 2 is fine for reading novels, but a bigger screen could help with papers, periodicals, and things like university course packs. That’s true, but only for some magazines. Anything with glossy photo spreads, for instance, still begs for a vivid, colour screen, which Amazon probably won’t include in this edition.

The other problem: As MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka notes, no matter how big the Kindle screen is, electronic subscriptions are not going to save the likes of the New York Times, which itself reports that it will be one of Amazon’s launch partners.

The good news is that Amazon is getting ahead of the game. Other readers, such as one coming from Hearst, haven’t seen the light of day yet. And it’s rumoured that Apple will get into the e-book-reader-sized device market this year. This larger Kindle has been in the works for a while, and the WSJ reported its existence earlier this month.

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