September is coming: what devices have been around the longest?

September is coming: what devices have been around the longest?

Next month,  September, is when Amazon has been doing a big hardware announcement.

There are often surprises, but I thought that taking a look at how long currently available new models have been available might give us a clue about what might be due for a refresh.

Entry level Kindle

All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This was actually just updated this June (the big addition was Bluetooth audio…which I think is great). That makes it seem unlikely that we’ll get a new entry level Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) in September…but you never know.😉

Kindle Oasis

This came out in April of this year, and seems soon for a new model…unless they were to do a different size, which seems unlikely. I’m not linking to it because you still can’t buy it without an animal leather cover. Oh, and they could update it with Bluetooth audio.

Kindle Paperwhite

The 3rd

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s been over a year since this was announced in June of 2015…and a refresh with Bluetooth seems likely to me.

Kindle Voyage

Kindle Voyage (any configuration) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

came out in 2014…but I feel like it’s been replaced as the top of the line by the Oasis. I have one and I like it, but it feels a bit like the fifth wheel. I think entry level, Paperwhite, and Oasis is a good lineup.

Fire tablets

I’m addressing these a group…and there was an  update in fall of 2015. I expect an update of the Fire line…the least expensive one has been a big hit

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I think this is where we’ll see some real innovation. I think the iPad has lost some of its luster…there are a lot of tablets out there still, and the tablet isn’t an exploding market…but I think that benefits Amazon, which is sometimes seen as a utility player for hardware, when they enter existing markets.

Echo family

The

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

and

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

were introduced in March of 2016…and I use both of mine every workday (and the Tap on weekends). Probably too soon to refresh those.

On the other hand, the original

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has never been updated since it rolled out in 2014. It’s due.

Fire TV family

The

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

2nd generation was released at the end of last year, but I think we’ll see an update…this is a vibrant growing market, and Apple TV has challenged it with its most recent version.

Could we see something brand new? Sure!

My intuition is something new in home automation, connecting to the Alexa voice service. For example, I’d love it if Amazon introduced a widely compatible SmartHub. They could also do “AmazonBasics” for home automation lights, that kind of thing.

Could they do a watch? A Virtual Reality headset? A fitness tracker? Maybe…none of those feel really likely to me. I like the idea of a wearable audio player (for Prime Music, audiobooks, and text-to-speech) with no visual display, but that might just be me.

What do you think? Will we see new hardware announcements from Amazon in September 2016 ? If so, what do you think we’ll see? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

6 Responses to “September is coming: what devices have been around the longest?”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Much of what they announced last September as new models were to my mind just price reductions (along with some feature diminution). I expect some of the same this time around.

    I could see a lower priced entry level kindle, and perhaps some adjustments to the Oasis (perhaps a non-leather cover as you suggest); there could also be a price reduction (new model Oasis?), and a concomitant dropping of the Voyage.

    I’m not sure where they go with the Fire tablets — maybe they come out with a 2-in-1 form factor? — as straight tablets are declining in popularity across the board.

    And then there’s Liquavista (:groan😀 )

    On the Fire TV front, I have both, but never used either of them yet — perhaps some improvements on the casting front? Tighter integration with Alexa? Alexa voice recognition/microphones built into Fire TV, Fire TV Stick (or are those already present?).

    For the Echo something entirely new?

    One problem I have with the Echo is that it has a lot of capability, if you delve into the skills, and things like IFTTT, but that’s probably beyond your average non-technical user. The basics that come with the Echo — things like the shopping & To-do lists need to be massively improved.

    Integration with 3rd part Home Automation stuff should be made a basic part of the deliverable, and not require a technical degree to implement.

    There’s probably more potential for innovation in the Echo/Alexa space than anywhere else in the Amazon device universe. And given all the positive press, and Echo sales momentum, they ought to jump on this tiger and ride em cowboy — just like they have been doing with AWS.

    Echo has been pitched as a consumer device, but one of the big growth drivers with AWS has been with enterprises. I wonder if there isn’t some kind of Echo/Alexa product that could play in cloud connected businesses?

    On a more selfish personal desire, I wish they would see fit to tighten/provide more integration and apps with their cross town neighbor, Microsoft. Their kindle reading apps on Windows, and Windows phone are a scandal just as a for instance.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thank for writing, Edward!

      A 2-in-1, or at least an Amazon branded keyboard case for a Fire tablet, makes a lot of sense.

      Liquavista would get a lot of buzz…I’m just not sure what the demand actually is for color in an EBR when we have cheaper color on tablets, despite it not being the same experience.

      On Fire TV…it does already have some voice recognition and integration with Alexa. You can do much of your Alexa functions through the Fire TV Stick (or Fire TV), making that the least expensive Alexa option. They’ve recently introduced some voice navigation for the Fire TV, but I’ve to see them match Siri on Apple TV or Comcast’s Xfinity voice control.

      You are right that the casting could be easier. I have to follow a ritualistic sequence to make sure my Fire tablet casts to my Fire TV. I usually: turn off the Fire tablet (which I otherwise almost never do). Then I start mirroring on the Fire TV. Then I turn my Fire tablet back on. Then I turn mirroring on the Fire tablet…and give it probably twenty seconds before I tap the Fire TV/Stick. It takes probably ten seconds after that before the mirroring starts.

      For contrast, SmartView on my Galaxy S7 Edge is a snap.🙂 Now, admittedly, my Fire tablet isn’t the latest gen and my Galaxy is, but still.🙂

      We are still in the infancy of Alexa, but it is getting better. For example, you can now enable skills by voice…but you do have to know what they are and that they exist. I’d like to be able to say something like, “Alexa, is Oceanic flight 815 on time?” and have it say, “I can get that information from the ‘Where’s my flight?’ skill…would you like me to enable it?” I would say, “Yes, please,” (because I am polite with my Alexa), and if there was no additional set up needed, it would say, “Okay. Flight 815 from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California has been unexpectedly delayed with no estimated time of arrival.” I agree: there is a lot more functionality possible for the shopping list. One simple thing: let me sort my past items alphabetically.🙂

      I am techie enough that I use IFTTT with my Echo every day, but you are right that it isn’t simple.

      Alexa could do a lot in business, especially with vocal chatbot functionality. Amazon just has to be careful that someone else doesn’t leapfrog Alexa in the marketplace…

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        Since Liquavista is a reflective (as opposed to an emissive) technology, it can provide a good color reading experience in very bright sunlight whereas the displays in tablets can not.

        Since all books and magazines are reflective, something like Liquavista might someday be able to match the reading characteristics of print quite closely.

        Artistically there might be some “taste” preferences as well: back in the day some photographers preferred Kodak Vericolor over Kodacolor print film. Kodacolor provided very bright colors whereas Vericolor was more muted.

        Similar differences would obtain when considering reflective versus emissive.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Edward!

        Yes, you and I and other people with a fairly deep knowledge of the screen technologies understand that difference…but I don’t think the broader market is going to be that discerning about what it means.

  2. Man in the Middle Says:

    All I’m looking for is Bluetooth on a Paperwhite or Voyage. If Voyage is discontinued, I hope its automatic light level feature is added to the Paperwhite. As for the Oasis, I consider it a step backwards, due to its weird shape and the added size and weight of its cover, compared to my Voyage.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      My guess is that the next gens may all have Bluetooth. Automatic light may also expand.

      As long as the Oasis can’t be purchased from Amazon without an animal leather cover, I don’t think I’ll be able to tell you about the feel. I can tell you that I’ve read many positive comments on the shape and feel…

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