Earlier this week Crunchgear broke the news on two new upcoming Kindle models: a smaller form factor Kindle to be released this year ahead of the holidays, and a large screen (probably 8.5×11) to come sometime next year.
A couple of commenters in that post have pointed out that the large screen Kindle is perfect to target the college/university textbook market, a $5.5 billion market annually in the U.S. alone.
Most students still buy print versions of textbooks, and carrying them around is as big a pain as it has been for past generations of students. Most publishers now offer electronic versions of their textbooks – McGraw-Hill Education, for example, publishes 95% of their books electronically as well as in print. But there is no compelling device to read them on. The current kindle is too small, and laptops run out of power too quickly.
A new large screen kindle would solve those problems. The battery life is much longer than most electronic devices, and carrying a large Kindle is still a lot better than carrying ten heavy textbooks. Our guess is that Amazon will make a major push into the educational markets next year – it’s the only obvious reason to create a large screen Kindle.