UPDATE, 11:10 AM: It’s official — there’s a new Kindle. It’s called Kindle Paper White, costs $119 and will ship October 1. At 9.1 millimeters and 7.5 ounces, it is very slender. “Thinner than a magazine, lighter than a paperback,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said as he announced the product in Santa Monica this morning. A higher-priced $179 Kindle Paper White has free 3G wireless. Both also have a bright light so you can read in the dark and it has eight weeks of battery life. It also has a timer that tracks individuals’ reading speed and can then tell them how long it will take them to finish a chapter or a book. A total of 180,000 books available on the Paper White are exclusive to Amazon, Bezos said.
The CEO today also unveiled the new Kindle Fire HD. The new 8.9-inch tablet is designed to be almost glare free, comes with dual speakers and advanced WiFi. With a few implied digs at the cost and limitations of Apple’s iPad, Bezos said the 32 GB and 4G wireless tablet will retail for $499 and ships November 20. “Is it a little bit more expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely,” he told the crowd.
Amazon shares touched an all-time high today of $252.27. With an hour to go before the market close, the shares are up around 1.8% — in line with the overall market. (The S&P 500 is higher than it’s been since May 2008.)
Bezos also announced a new Kindle Fire priced at $159 and a Kindle Touch going on sale later this month for $69.
PREVIOUS, 8:37 AM: Looks like there’s a new Amazon Kindle tablet coming and the company gave us a peek at it last night. The online retailer, who signed a big streaming-content deal with EPIX earlier this week, is scheduled to make a big product announcement today, and a new Kindle Fire is rumored to be the star of the show. However, it looks like Amazon ruined its own surprise: In a TV spot that aired during last night’s NFL season-opener on NBC between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, it revealed new Kindle e-readers and a larger Kindle tablet — you’ll see it around the 30-second mark (check it out below). The timing of CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement later today, heading into the holiday shopping season, comes almost a year after he first presented the Kindle Fire in New York. Last week, the online retailer said the low-priced $199 Kindle Fire had sold out and was no longer available.