The Kindle DX, one of the oldest e-readers offered by Amazon and certainly the largest, has finally been discontinued, and is only available used from third-party sellers. Is this the end for big e-readers?
The eBook Reader, a blog that covers the world of e-readers, noted that after a price drop last week, the DX, which has a 9.7-inch screen, is now just plain not available on Amazon anymore, unless you want to buy it used or pick up one of even more outdated previous versions of the device.
The move has been a long time coming, and Jay Marine, vice president of Kindle at Amazon, even said of the device that "we are pretty much done with it" at the company's most recent Kindle event. Still, it's a little strange to see the device go, if only because there isn't something replacing it.
Amazon has wholly committed to the 6-inch screen, which is found not only in all of its current Kindle models, but in practically every major e-reader out there. There are smaller ones like the Kobo Mini and larger ones like the Icarus eXcel, but the sales of the 6-inch Kindles and Nooks far outweigh those. (Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD comes with either 7- or 8.9-inch displays.)
Can you expect a new, cheap, big-screen e-reader from Amazon or its competitors any time soon? Don't bet on it. The market has spoken and what most people want in an e-reader is a replacement for the average paperback, not something larger that might replace a newspaper or textbook — that need is better served by tablets anyway, which allow for richer and more interactive content.
The Kindle DX was, unfortunately, simply too big and too expensive (it was $379 for most of its life) for the market into which it was released. Few will mourn or even notice its absence, but it does leave behind a decreasingly diverse e-reader world, which is an easy thing to regret.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment, but we will update this post if they do.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.