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By 15 May 2012 | Categories: news

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Rumours are doing the rounds that new Kindles may already be in the works, and could find their way to market by as early as July.
 
According to Reuters, a prototype of Amazon’s new e-ink reader points towards the addition of integrated front lighting, which would enable the device to be read in the dark.
 
The move seems more inevitable than surprising, as the company’s rival Barnes and Nobles, recently added a GlowLight to its Nook Simple Touch e-ink e-reader.
 
If true, this would address one of the Kindle e-ink reader’s biggest limitations: namely the need for an external lamp or a clip on light to read in the dark.However, the report notes that the presence of the front lighting may also affect the Kindle’s famed battery life somewhat.
 
Additionally, Reuter’s unnamed source added that a new Kindle Fire was also slated to be released, boasting an 8.9” display, which is only slightly smaller than the iPad’s 9.7” screen size.
 
Relight this fire
 
The news is hardly surprising, considering that Barnes and Noble recently received a boost thanks to a new strategic partnership with Microsoft (which we hope will finally see the Nook ereader, Nook Colour and Nook Touch tablets receiving an international release); while Apple is riding high on the wave of its recent launch of its new Retina-display touting iPad.
 
Additionally, other rumours persist that Apple may be gearing up to release a lower-priced Apple Mini (either a 7” or a 7.8” iPad) in the third quarter of this year, which if true, would certainly put pressure on the Kindle Fire.
 
As it is, by the beginning of this year, already reports were surfacing that support for the Kindle Fire appeared to be cooling. According to Allthingsd, global shipments of the tablet had apparently suffered a steep and shocking drop from 4.8 million units in the fourth quarter of last year to a mere 750 000 units in the previous quarter, sending the Kindle Fire market share crashing and burning from a promising 16.8% to a far less healthy 4%.
 
Part of the reason for this is being blamed on Apple – and their propensity for releasing new iPad’s while dropping the price of the current iPad 2.
 
To the point
 
Clearly, Amazon simply cannot afford to rest on its laurels or be complacent about its previous success with the Kindle. As RIM and Yahoo! have demonstrated, being yesterday’s King of the Hill offers no protection from the steep and ugly slide back down the slope; or feeling the boot of hungrier, more agile competitors on your head on their way up it.   

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