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A slimmer Kindle coming in August?

The next-generation e-book reader will be thinner and come with a sharper picture, two people familiar with Amazon's plans told Bloomberg.

Amazon plans to unveil a thinner Kindle with a sharper picture in August, according to a Bloomberg News report on Saturday citing anonymous sources.

Two people familiar with the online retailer's plans told Bloomberg the next-generation e-book reader will not have a touch screen or color, but the display will be sharper and more responsive.

Kindle 2
Amazon says not to expect a color Kindle anytime soon. Shown here is the Kindle 2. CNET

Earlier this week at Amazon's annual shareholder meeting in Seattle, CEO Jeff Bezos said a Kindle with a color reflective screen is still a ways off. A story in The Wall Street Journal on the meeting quoted Bezos as saying he had "seen several things in the laboratory, but they are not quite ready for production."

The New York Times reported in February that Amazon had bought Touchco, a New York start-up developing flexible multitouch panels. That led to speculation that the e-tailer was planning an answer to the iPad, Apple's tablet device.

Bezos said Tuesday that Amazon intends to keep the Kindle focused on what it has always been--a reading device.

CNET e-mailed Amazon on Saturday afternoon seeking a comment on the Bloomberg report. Bloomberg said a call to an Amazon representative was not returned.

On Thursday, Sony announced it is releasing its Reader--which launched in the U.S. in 2006--in several new countries this year, including Japan, China, and Australia. Also on Thursday, Marvell said it's teaming up with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to create an inexpensive tablet, which they plan to show off at CES next year.