Amazon may launch newspaper reader this week

Amazon may be working on a new device that is similar to the Kindle book reader but designed specifically for newspapers and magazines.

The company has invited members of the press to an event on Wednesday that The New York Times, citing unnamed people, said will mark the launch of a reader like the Kindle but with a bigger screen. Amazon did not reply to a request for comment about what might be introduced at the event.

The New York Times could be one of the initial content providers to supply digital copies of its paper on the device. Some reporters have noticed that the Wednesday Amazon event will occur at Pace University in New York, located in a building that was long ago the headquarters for The New York Times. The newspaper did not reply to a request for comment.

Kindle users can already read newspapers, delivered wirelessly for a fee, on the book reader.

However, a device with a larger screen that is specifically designed for reading newspapers could be interesting, depending on the business model, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Interpret. "It all depends on price. If it's a $500 newspaper reader and then you have to buy a subscription on top of it, it has to be for someone who is pretty heavy into newspapers," he said. "On the other hand, if you subscribed to The New York Times and they'll give you this reader that you can now use for books and other things, I could see an interesting change in the model begin to emerge."

Instead of a newspaper reader, Amazon could instead be planning to introduce a device similar to the Kindle but designed specifically for students. "That's one place an electronic book reader makes an awful lot of sense," Gartenberg said. Textbooks are heavy and expensive, and an electronic reader could alleviate both of those issues. Rumors of a Kindle designed for students have been circulating almost since the original Kindle launched.

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