We have all been waiting for Kindle 3 for months now. I started discussing Kindle 3 before K.indled was acquired by this website. At the time, everyone was hoping for a color-screen Kindle 3. While Amazon has all but ruled that out, it may be getting ready to release the device. That could be one reason it is heavily discounting refurbished Kindle 2 units. Rick Broida may be right after all. There are indications that Amazon may be getting ready to get out of hardware business altogether. We are likely to see Kindle 3 (and Kindle lite), but a Kindle 4 does not seem like a sure bet (unless Kindle 3 sells beyond Amazon’s expectations).
To be fair, Amazon has made a decent effort to improve Kindle’s software and embrace social media. It fully understands the power of Book 2.0, which is why Kindle 3 is expected to give publishers a better chance to share their interactive books with the world. Kindle hardware has Jeff Bezos’ support going for it at this point. But that won’t last for too long if Amazon can’t make decent profits from each Kindle hardware sold.
B&N has been more creative with its nook strategy. It has not only matched Amazon by bringing nook software to various mobile platforms, it is going after the education market hard (something that Kindle DX was supposed to do). At this point, B&N looks more likely to have a few more generations of nook than Amazon does with Kindle.