Me and My Kindle reports that Amazon has seemingly discontinued its Kindle Touch e-reader, which originally sold at $99 before the new generation crashed the scene last month. The news follows reports that Amazon discontinued its 9.7-inch Kindle DX earlier this month.
Although Amazon hasn't made an official announcement, the company's highly-popular touch-based Kindle e-reader is listed as "currently unavailable". That doesn't necessarily mean the product is officially dead, but the product webpage points to the just-released Kindle Paperwhite (opens in new tab), describing the new illuminated e-reader as a "newer model". It's also no longer appearing on Amazon's Kindle lineup.
"We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock," the product page states.
On the Kindle DX front, a search through Amazon doesn't even pull up a product page, but instead points to third parties still offering the device both new and used. This was perhaps Amazon's least popular model of the Kindle family, a 9.7-inch version of the original E Ink Kindle sporting 3G connectivity. This unit has undoubtedly been kicked out of the Kindle club in favor of Amazon's slick new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet starting at a moderate $299 USD.
As for the Kindle Touch replacement, the Kindle Paperwhite starts at $119 (opens in new tab) and features a patented, built-in light that illuminates the screen. So far the device has earned an average rating of just over 4 stars based on 756 reviews. The majority of the customers seem elated with the new e-reader, with 321 customers giving the device five stars and 142 customers giving it 142 stars.
Still, the gadget has received its share of criticism. Earlier this month, Amazon posted a letter to consumers and critics who have complained about some of the Paperwhite's new features like the illuminated screen. The company acknowledged that the gadget has "certain limitations" including a lack of audio or Text-to-Speech functions.
"Under certain lighting conditions, the illumination at the bottom of the screen from the built-in light is not perfectly even," the company explained. "These variations are normal and are located primarily in the margin where text is not present. The illumination is more even than that created by a book light or lighted cover. The contrast, resolution and illumination of the Paperwhite display is a significant step-up from our prior generation.
"The Kindle Paperwhite has 2 GB of storage," Amazon continued. "Some previous Kindle models had 4 GB of storage. 2 GB allows you to hold up to 1,100 books locally on your device. In addition, your entire Kindle library is stored for free in the Amazon cloud, and you can easily move books from the cloud onto your device."
Regardless of the Paperwhite's flaws, it seems that the Kindle Touch is retiring alongside the Kindle DX. Consumers not satisfied with what the new e-reader has to offer can always upgrade to one of the Kindle Fire tablets.