The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon.com plans to unveil a larger version of the company’s Kindle e-reader device this Wednesday. Citing people familiar with the matter, the paper said the new device is designed to appeal to textbook publishers.
While Amazon declined to comment on anything to do with the new device, the Journal confirmed that Amazon will test the new devices at six universities, including Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, Arizona State and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Case Western Reserve’s chief information officer, Lev Gonick told the Journal that beginning this fall, some students at the school would be given the large screen Kindle with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed. The university will then compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks, Gonick said.
Just last month, the Associated Press reported that Verizon Wireless was in talks with a number of different companies about bringing an e-reader to its network. In the same report, Tony Lewis, Verizon’s head of Open Development, hinted that the carrier was interested in entering a part of the e-reader market that the Kindle doesn’t focus on like college textbooks.
Some speculate that Verizon has been in talks with Sony to bring its e-reader to Verizon. Lewis told the AP, “We’d love to have Sony on there,” but refused to confirm if the company had been in touch.