Amazon launched so much new stuff today that I can’t even remember what they all are (there might’ve been a fish in there, even), but there was a glaring omission in the slate of reveals: The Kindle. Amazon’s e-reader has a long and successful track record, with each successive model and iteration bringing some nice changes to the table, but the last big change came out in June, and the one that I loved, the Oasis, was released last April.
Typically Amazon has brought out a new version of its Kindle hardware at least once per calendar year, and often it’ll release updates mid-year that include spec bumps, or neat market-specific features like last October’s Paperwhite 3 “Manga Model” for Japan. So far in 2017, however, we’ve been left high and dry in terms of e-ink products from Amazon, while the Echo has been lavished with attention and put out in so many variations that there’s actually one focused primarily on style and fashion, and one that watches you from your bedside.
When I heard that Amazon was going to have an event today, and that this event would likely feature a range of product introductions, I rejoiced: Surely, somewhere in all the madness and focus on putting Alexa in cars and mock game trophies, we’d get a nod to the Kindle — maybe just a new Paperwhite, maybe with some water resistance or even just the usual update in page-turn refresh speed.
Instead, we got Echo Buttons. We got a device that adds smart connectivity to a standard old-school landline. But we did not get any glorious e-paper wondrousness, the likes of which Amazon alone can provide.
There’s still time: We’ve got a few months left of holiday shopping and people love receiving Kindles, Amazon. Darrell, in particular, loves receiving Kindles as gifts from loved ones in particular. Don’t ruin Darrell’s Christmas, Amazon. Why would you do that.