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Amazon's Kindle 2 now slated for early next year?

Last month Boy Genius Report got a hold of some photos of the next-generation digital reader from Amazon, fueling speculation that we'd see the Kindle 2 on sale for the holidays. Now, Crunch Gear is reporting that the Kindle will arrive in early 'Q1 2009.

The Kindle 2 is now rumored to arrive early next year.
Boy Genius Report

Last month Boy Genius Report got its hands on some photos of what appeared to be the Kindle 2, so speculation was rampant that Amazon would release a new Kindle for the holidays. However, Amazon has continually denied it would have a new Kindle in 2008, and it seems clear that no new device is imminent. Today, though, Crunch Gear, which put out the original rumor on the Kindle 2, is now saying that it has it on good authority that the Kindle 2 will show up early next year.

Crunch Gear's founder Michael Arrington writes, "It was scheduled to be released in October in time for this holiday season, but Bezos himself reportedly pulled the plug for last minute changes to the software. Our sources now say it's tentatively scheduled to go on sale in 'early next quarter.'"

Crunch Gear turned out to be wrong last time, but the good news is everybody's expecting this thing to come out early next year, so chances are Arrington's probably right--or at least tentatively right. And heck, it doesn't take a Boy Genius to figure out that a Kindle 2 (and maybe even a Kindle 3) will come out in 2009.

What's a little lost in all this is that people haven't been all that impressed with what they've seen from the leaked images of the Kindle 2 (if it is indeed the Kindle 2). On the surface, it doesn't seem to be that much of an improvement over the original Kindle, but perhaps Amazon has been able to lower the price on the unit and add features we don't know about.

In the meantime, Sony's $400 PRS-700 Digital Reader is now available for sale. Our review is due to post shortly, and while the new Sony is sleeker than the Kindle, has a touch screen, and plenty of other other improvements, a couple of screen issues prevent it from truly giving the Kindle a run for its money. Perhaps if Sony really had a Kindle-killer, Bezos would have been more aggressive about releasing a new model.*

See, this whole speculation thing is easy. Please feel free to comment.

*Correction: As a reader points out, the Kindle is sold out through the holidays and Amazon isn't,"sitting on a ton of Kindles it has to move during the holiday season" as I originally suggested.