Amazon Kindle is a machine for reading electronic books (e-books). The Kindle is designed by Lab126, a part of the Amazon.com company. The first Kindles were sold in the United States on November 19, 2007. Six hardware devices, known as "Kindle", "Kindle 2", "Kindle 3", "Kindle 4", "Kindle Touch", and "Kindle Fire" support this platform. There are also software versions of Kindle than can be used on smartphones and computers.
The hardware Kindles (except for the Kindle Fire) use an electronic paper display and download books and websites over Amazon Whispernet using the Sprint Nextel EVDO network. A Wireless network can also be used. Kindles can be used without a computer, and Whispernet is accessible without any fee. These devices also provide free internet access to Wikipedia.
Upon the initial launch of the Kindle, Amazon's Kindle Store had more than 88,000 digital books available for download, with the number of books increasing. Amazon's first offering of Kindle sold out in five and a half hours and the device remained out of stock until late April 2008.
The Kindle retailed for $399; Amazon subsequently lowered the price to $359. Amazon does not sell the Kindle outside the United States as Whispernet only works in the U.S. Plans for a launch in the UK and other European countries are being delayed by problems with signing up suitable Wi-Fi operators. The CDMA technology in the Kindle does not allow for its use in the UK due to the lack of a CDMA network operator in the UK.[source?]
A reviewer from CNET expressed concern with the presentation of the device despite its comfortable design. The picture to the left displays a distinctly beige colored device. In point of fact, both Kindle versions are a matte bright white with all button labels and text colored gray. The Kindle 1 is exactly the same color as the Kindle 2 pictured in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
On February 9, 2009, Amazon announced the Kindle 2, which became available for purchase on February 23, 2009 for the price of $359, and lowered on July 8, 2009 for $299. The new Kindle features improved battery life, 20 percent faster page-refreshing, a text-to-speech option to read the text out loud, and overall thickness reduced from 0.8 to 0.36 inches (9.1 millimetres). The Kindle 2 has 2 GB of internal memory. Amazon estimates that the Kindle 2 will hold about 1500 books. Unlike the original Kindle, Kindle 2 does not have a slot for memory cards. To promote the new Kindle, author Stephen King has made his new book named "UR" only available through Kindle.
The Kindle 3 comes in 2 models. A wi-fi and a 3G. The Wi-Fi can only download books over wireless internet. However the 3G Kindle can download books over Wi-Fi and 3g.
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