Monday, May 31, 2010

August 2010 Kindle maybe code-named 'Shasta' and may have WiFi

'Shasta' WiFi Kindle?

Engadget's Thomas Ricker reports today that the thinner (why?) faster, higher-contrast Kindle possibly due in August may have WiFi capability for use with home or office WiFi networks or hotspots you find (preferably free) at coffee shops or bookstores and of course at airports where they unfortunately usually cost a bit.

This would be in addition to the current 3G cellular wireless capability that, at no added cost, lets you use the Kindle for googling something wherever you are (albeit slowly), in a bus or as a passenger in a car or sitting on some park bench or beach somewhere.  This is if you are a U.S. resident or live in Japan, Hong Kong, or Mexico, and CEO Jeff Bezos has said that he hopes to expand to other countries the web-browsing capability that has been in Kindles since 2007, which is useful for patient users who access mobile-device-optimized versions of websites (as are used by smartphones).

  The screen capture at the top left displays the results of an internal Amazon device query which shows entries for "Shasta" and "Shasta WiFi." Ricker feels this would seem to indicate that Amazon's next Kindle will come in two flavors: WiFi + 3G and 3G-only (Engadget's source isn't sure).  He also feels there's even an outside chance that one could be a WiFi-only device, which would mean that the future Kindle could be made less expensive but would not allow downloading of books from wherever you happen to be, as the current Kindles do.

  He points out that the original Kindle was apparently code-named "Fiona" after Fiona Hackworth in Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age.  Kindle users may have noticed that links to Amazon often have an initial target destination at Amazon (a folder or directory) named 'fiona'...

  Richter adds that many of the names in the device list show above -- "Nell (the protagonist), Miranda (mother figure to Nell), and Turing (i.e., Turing Machines) -- are all related to that very same story. What we can't figure out is how the word "Shasta" fits into all this so lay it on us Cyberpunks if you know.

Update: Freddo411 seems to have nailed it in the comments: Shasta, Lassen, and Mazama are all volcanoes in the Cascades.

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  1. Last week I got a kindle 6", love it! But now I am thinking I should return it and wait to see what comes out in August.

    It sounds like whatever happens, either the new model will be superior than my current 6" or I can pick up my 6" again in August for a reduced price...

    What would you folks do in my situation?

  2. Anonymous,
    Delivery dates, especially unannounced ones, are seldom met.

    If you like the Kindle you bought, it will be a factor.

    In my case, I'd keep it and then in August/October put it up for sale as used.

    The current Kindles are getting $200 - $240 on Amazon and on Craigs List. There was an article written about two months ago, aghast that people were paying that much for a used Kindle of all things - but that's likely because they had covers along with them and many ARE looking for something small for reading books. The 3G anytime at no extra cost has kept the value up, I guess, along with how easy it is to use.

    They do tend to hold their value.

    But if you don't like it that much, then, yes, return it within 30 days of ship date.

    But I wouldn't depend on August. However, one never knows.

  3. I should add that the current price of a used Kindle 1 at Amazon is $169 -

  4. Thanks Andrys!
    Thanks for the reply.

    I think I may like the kindle too much. I was hoping to buy this 6" until the Kindle3 came out, and then dropped in price, which I thought would take a year or more. But now seeing the new kindle on the horizon I'm thinking I may want to buy a DX of *that* in the summer, and my kidnle-envy may be too great to not have the latest and greatest. Reselling is like a rental program, am I willing to lose the 80-100 (I think the market may be a bit softer once the new kindle is out, since so many more people have the kindle2) for use of a kindle for 4 months (say it comes out in Sept.).

    I've got a week to decide, I may be kindle-less for the summer and hope for an early release of the new version of the DX.


  5. I believe that the references to Shasta and Lassen are to counties or cities in N. California and S. Oregon.

    I say this because while Shasta and Lassen are volcanos, they are also counties in N. California along with Klameth which is a county in S. Oregon. Redding (in the list of devices) is the largest city in CA north of Sacramento.


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