Amazon's Kindle is one of the most popular electronic devices to hit the market in recent years, and it is easily the top e- reader available. Their Kindle brand features a line of readers that allow buyers to shop for and download electronic books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, and more. Some of the latest iterations of the device run on a version of Android, which allows for far more functionality.
The name for the product came from Michael Cronan, a branding consultant. He and Karin Hibma liked the word kindle, as it could have more than one meaning, such as lighting a fire and lighting one's imagination. The name stuck, and it's become almost synonymous with e-readers today.
The Kindle started out as a single device in 2007, with a line of larger Kindles, the DX line, hitting the market in 2009. As the years have gone by, Amazon has launched new versions of their devices regularly. Each of the new versions brings along with it more features and better design. While the devices started as relatively simple readers, and they still have these styles of devices available, new tablet computers bearing the same name are available as well.
The first generation Kindle came out in November of 2007 and sold for $399. It was an extremely successful launch, with all of the available units selling out in less than six hours. They did not have any new Kindles available for another five months. The device was grayscale, had an SD card slot for expanded memory, and came with 250MB of internal memory. It could hold around 200 books.
The second generation of the Kindle, available in October of 2009, was smaller and featured text to speech options to read the books aloud. This device featured far more memory - 2GB with 1.4GB available to the user. It could hold approximately 1,500 books. As part of the promotion for this device, Stephen King's novella UR was available only through the Kindle Store.
The Kindle DX line, which came out in 2009, was to accommodate those who wanted to have a larger device with a nice and large screen. It could also support PDF files, which was something else readers wanted. It was also possible to rotate the device and the orientation of the text for easier reading of different types of material. They soon made more versions, including an international model that supports international 3G. Their Kindle DX Graphite added E-Ink, proprietary technology that makes the digital ink on the screen appear more like actual ink on a page. This was a feature all models of the Kindle would start to use.
The third generation of the device featured a 6 inch screen and it was available in two different versions. One was a Wi-Fi version that would only connect to the Internet via wireless connections. The other version offered the same type of 3G connectivity as the Kindle 2.
The fourth generation of the Kindle provided even more of a change to the device. One of the versions was ad supported, and it was a cheaper model coming in at only $79. The other model, which was the same except for the fact that it did not have ads, was $109. These were slightly smaller than the third generation, and they had a longer battery life.
The fifth generation included a version of the regular Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite in late 2012.
The Kindle Touch was a touch screen version of the device, and it was introduced in September of 2011. They had Wi-Fi and 3G options, as well as ad supported and ad free options. A second generation of their Paperwhite device is available as well, having come out in September of 2013.
The latest versions of the device feature LCD screens. The Kindle Fire line is essentially a tablet computer that offers apps, games, web browsing, and more. They have a number of different options within this line as well, including the Kindle Fire HD, and the Kindle Fire HDX.
Overall, the reception of the Kindle has been positive from the beginning. It has revolutionized the way that people read and even the way in which people publish books and magazines.