Last week, Amazon announced an update to its Kindle Paperwhite eBook Reader. The latest model purportedly features a whiter screen, darker text, and 25% faster page-turning. ars technica also points out that users can now "flip through a book or document without losing their place, add in-line footnotes, and share their books on Goodreads." The new Paperwhite starts at $119 if you opt for special offers, or $139 without. This is the same pricing that we saw for the previous generation, which Amazon apparently no longer offers on its site.
However, numerous resellers like Best Buy, Office Depot, JR.com, and even Quill still feature the original Paperwhite in their stores, and presumably they have at least some stock left over in their inventory. (Interestingly, Staples has removed it.) If these stores do indeed still have stock left, then this situation puts them in that familiar dilemma that retailers regularly face with product cycles; because there's an improved version available at the same starting price, resellers must discount the older generation at a lower cost, in order to clear it out.
Of course, this practice of discounting the older generation upon the new generation's release is nothing groundbreaking. In this instance however, if it comes to pass, it will be noteworthy simply because we have never seen a deal on the Paperwhite, despite being on the shelves of both Amazon and resellers for nearly a full year. The eBook reader has proven to be very popular with consumers and tech reviewers, so the device has been explicitly excluded from discounts and coupons. But with the second generation due to ship in a few weeks, shoppers might finally see price cuts from resellers. (Amazon itself might even offer a 1-day only sale at some point through a Goldbox-type deal, since it's quite keen on these limited-time "fire sale" deals.)
Despite being upgraded last week, we haven't yet seen any deals on the older Paperwhite. That said, there's reason to believe that Amazon didn't intend to announce the device this early, and retailers are still in reaction mode. Another caveat: Since we've never seen a sale of any kind on the Paperwhite before, it's difficult to speculate as to what the price drop might be once we find a deal. One thing we can reasonably assume, however, is that such deals probably won't last long when they do pop up. Keep an eye on our Kindle deals page or set up an email alert to receive immediate notification when we post a sale to the site.
Lindsay Sakraida is the Features Director for dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.