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Amazon apparently discontinues Kindle Touch in favor of Paperwhite

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It appears that Amazon (s AMZN) is no longer selling the Kindle Touch, the touchscreen e-reader that preceded the front-lit Kindle Paperwhite. Amazon also seems to have discontinued the large-screen Kindle DX last week.

I’ve asked the company for comment, but the Kindle Touch’s product page lists it as “currently unavailable,” and a link points to “a newer model of this item,” the Kindle Paperwhite. The Touch is also no longer shown in Amazon’s Kindle lineup.

The change leaves consumers who want a Kindle right now with limited options. The Kindle Paperwhite has been sold out since early October and its product page still says it won’t ship for four to six weeks. The bare-bones, non-touchscreen Kindle, $69 with ads and $89 without, is available, as is the old Kindle Keyboard, $139 with 3G and ads.

It seems Amazon considers the front-lit Kindle Paperwhite the new normal — that there is no reason you’d choose an e-reader without a light over one with a light. But the Paperwhite with ads, at $119, is $20 more expensive than the Touch with ads, likely due to the inclusion of a capacitive touchscreen; the old model uses infrared sensors to “see” a touch. (The Paperwhite also has a higher-resolution screen.)

The Paperwhite and Touch are also not completely identical in other ways: As Amazon notes in a special disclaimer page through a link on the Kindle Paperwhite’s product page, the Paperwhite doesn’t have audio or text-to-speech and has 2 GB of storage rather than the 4 GB on the Touch. In addition, the company notes that “under certain lighting conditions, the illumination at the bottom of the screen from the built-in light is not perfectly even.” (I didn’t have a problem with this when I tested the Paperwhite, but I only tested it for a week.)

In the UK, the Kindle Touch is only available through Amazon’s retail partners, like Tesco, the blog Tech Radar reported. The same may be true in the U.S.

via Me and My Kindle

8 Responses to “Amazon apparently discontinues Kindle Touch in favor of Paperwhite”

  1. I have a kindle touch, and I like the look of the paperwhite, but see no reason to upgrade when there will be a whole-new breed of the things next christmas. XP If anything I am getting a cheap used kindle keyboard for travel and because the kindle touch sometimes likes to ‘skip’ several pages while reading. It also does not allow you to highlight text over a pagebreak like the older kindles do. Luckily I can put the same library on both.

    Neither are all that great for reading PDF’s, which I have to do for school, work and research using peer reviewed journals. For that I’d go with a version of the Nook Color or a tablet, no doubt.

  2. I love PaperWhite. I prefer the e-Ink type of technology over the bright back-lit screen stuff that hurts my eyes. Though, those LED/plasma screen devices cannot be avoided for work applications. Long live PaperWhite for pleasurable reading (and the Kindle read-text-aloud feature).

  3. I messaged Amazon yesterday pretty upset because I found out that Best Buy had Paperwhites in stock and I preordered and still have not received mine. They upgraded me to 1 day shipping and waived the entire shipping cost, but I still think its wrong that big merchants are getting them in store before people who preordered! And now to hear that people don’t even have the option to get a Kindle Touch to not have to wait, ridiculous!

    • well im upset because my best buy stores dont have any kindles at all. i have been calling back everyday but no one seems to know when they”ll be in. im really upset over this. i want my kindle already. its just unacceptable.

  4. The Touch was discontinued because it was the only model which had digitized text to speech. The Authors Guild opposed it because they would rather sell you an Audio Book at $20.00 -$30.00, vs. the $8.00 for the typical Kindle title.

    I found this out because a family member had a stroke which limited her ability to read. This is a major setback for many of the visually impaired who depended on this feature to be able to read and who are low income and can’t afford the higher priced Audio Books…

    Amazon has also disabled the existing TTS ability on some of its books, but it is noted under the title notes whether the feature is enabled or not.

    • Actually, all the new Kindle Fires have the text-to-speech option, so that’s 3 NEW models with TTS. In addition, Amazon did not remove text-to-speech capabilities from “its” books, that function is set and governed by the publisher. Please get the facts straight.