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Kindle is the new backpack

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There are several rumors bouncing around the web that Amazon is putting the final touches on a new model of its Kindle ebook reader. The target audience: students.

Just as college kids played a huge role in the success of the iPod – and many iDerivatives – Amazon is banking on them ditching hardcovers and adopting E Ink textbooks. At least that’s what the “confirmed” reports say.

The new line of Kindle “is significantly thinner, has a better screen, is more stylish, and includes fixes to some of the user interface annoyance with the first version,” says Business Week’s Peter Burrows. He compared this college-bound Kindle to Apple’s purse-friendly iPod Mini – take the bulky original and shave it down to something a teen-age girl would proudly bear.

The rumors differ over whether the new model is due out in September or October. (Either way, Amazon would seem to miss the back-to-school shopping sprees.) They also don’t get into whether the redesigned gadget will be marketed as a way to read Stephenie Meyer or science homework.

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