Is a New Kindle Around the Corner?

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Slashed prices for refurbished Kindles could be the latest sign that a new version of Amazon’s popular e-reader is imminent.

This week, Amazon dropped the price of refurbished, third-generation Kindles to $99 for a Wi-Fi model and $139 for a model with 3G and Wi-Fi. If purchased new, the same Kindles cost $139 and $189, respectively. Amazon has also slashed prices on Kindle accessories.

(MORE: Amazon to Lower Kindle to Under $100 by Christmas?)

Reading the tea leaves, SlashGear‘s Chris Davies thinks new Kindles are about to land, because the last time Amazon cut prices for refurbished e-readers and accessories, it launched the Kindle 3 a month later.

This wouldn’t be the first talk of new Kindles in 2011. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported a rumor that Amazon was working on two new e-readers in addition to its oft-teased tablet. One model will reportedly be a budget reader, and the other would sport a touch screen, much like Barnes & Noble’s new Nook.

Despite the deals on refurbished Kindles, TechCrunch‘s Matt Burns writes that now is a terrible time to buy. With new Amazon e-readers likely around the corner, he argues, buying soon-to-be outdated hardware isn’t worth saving a few extra bucks.

But I wouldn’t rule out a purchase if you’re in the market for an e-reader. The Kindle 3 is a fine device, and $99 is a great price. (And as the success of Amazon’s ad-supported Kindles have shown, people love cheap e-readers.) Having the latest technology is great, but so is finishing up the summer with a good book or two.

Besides, if Amazon does launch a budget e-reader in a month or two, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be a superfluous upgrade. We’re talking about the simple task of reading text on a page, after all.

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