Amazon is preparing to release a front-lit Kindle e-reader in July, according to one of Reuters’ unnamed but supposedly well-informed sources. The black and white E Ink device is expected to include a front-lit screen–rather than a back-lit one–to help readers eliminate the need for a separate light source.
While there are concerns that the inclusion of a light in Kindle devices will shorten the battery life, many people consider it to be a much-needed feature. Competitor Barnes & Noble already offers the NOOK reader with a built-in light, and a color screen to boot. Don’t get too excited, though. Amazon is unlikely to offer a Kindle with a color E Ink screen this year, said Reuters’ source. Of course, the online retailer giant already offers the Kindle Fire tablet with a color screen (sans E Ink), and the Fire’s successor is expected to arrive this fall in an 8.9-inch form factor.
Expect the front-lit version of the Kindle, when it arrives in July, to cost more than current Kindles, but NPD Group’s Jennifer Colegrave believes it could retail for as little as a $10 premium. This correlates with what the source was able to provide.