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Why is there still no white Kindle Paperwhite?

What is keeping Amazon from launching the white Paperwhite? This particular model, with a paper-like display being a part of its identification, is most suitable to come in 100% white and look like an opened page of a paper book.

Right now, you can choose from four color variants of the Kindle Paperwhite, but the white one is still not among them. A previous-generation model got a white color in June 2016 – a year after the main release. It’s worth highlighting that the entry-level Kindle 2019 model was launched right away in both black and white.

I see two reasons why there is still no white Kindle Paperwhite.

Amazon wants to make the big launch

Many Kindle lovers would be excited about the white Kindle Paperwhite, and the introduction of this color variant would already be a big thing, much bigger than launching new dark-themed colors.

And this may be the reason Amazon delays the launch of the white Paperwhite: to wait for the best – or latest – possible time.

During coronavirus pandemic, lots of people turn to reading ebooks. Kindle sales are most probably much higher than a year ago, and Amazon doesn’t even need to offer price cuts to keep the sales going. There were no such deals during National Reading Month, the deals for Mother’s Day were offered at the latest possible time, and they were somehow “hidden.”

Why launch the big thing now, if people buy Kindles anyway?

The life cycle of the Kindle models is two years, and it’s possible that the white Paperwhite would serve as a replacement of the next-generation Kindle. Amazon would call it the “all-new” Kindle Paperwhite and offer bigger internal memory. The white color variant would draw attention away from the fact there are no essential improvements.

Such a launch would take place before the 2020 Prime Day, which will most probably be delayed by September. Another time to launch the white Paperwhite would be the pre-Christmas time.

There are technical issues with the white-colored glass front

As you know, the 4th-generation Kindle Paperwhite comes with edge-to-edge glass front which covers the black-colored bezel and the display.

The white-colored glass front is not new. Some tablets, naming only the iPad (Silver variant), put the display inside the white frame – and all under the touch-sensitive glass.

There are, however two essential differences between and e-reader and tablet:

  • The tablet’s display is always black.
  • In an e-reader, you have to place LED lights around the display for the front-light feature to work.

Amazon could always launch the white Paperwhite that comes with a black front, but in this case the chance to make the first impression would be lost.

I imagine that the white bezel around the screen might not be as easy task as it may look.

First of all, when you compare the almost-white display with 100% white bezel, you see that the display is not that “paperwhite.” It’s white against the black bezel, it may look gray compared to the white bezel.

The second factor is the front light system which may not go well with the bezel covered in white paint. The presence of large white margins may require bigger screen contrast.

Below, you will see a visualization I’ve made to see how the all-white Kindle Paperwhite compares to the black-front version.

White Kindle Paperwhite visualization - white compared to black front
White Kindle Paperwhite visualization – white compared to black front
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