The Kindle Voyage came out in 2014 and it features a six-inch e-ink Carta display with a resolution of 1430 x 1080. It was the first e-reader that had a 300 PPI display, which made font razer sharp. It was the first Kindle to have a flush screen and bezel design, protected by a layer of glass and also was the first e-reader to have an ambient light sensor that would automatically adjust the brightness of the screen, based on your environment. One of the major selling points was the inclusion of Page Press technology, which had capacitive buttons on the side that provided haptic feedback when pressed down to turn a page. The Voyage was one of the most popular e-readers ever, why did Amazon elect not make a second generation?
Amazon was working on a Kindle Voyage 2 sometime from 2017 to 2020. The Voyage 2 had been in development at the secretive RND facility LAB126. This is where the Kindle was originally made, in addition to other products such as the Fire Phone, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and the birthplace of Alexa. The Voyage 2 went through various prototyping phases, but never got completed. The trouble Amazon engineers faced, was how to make the Voyage 2 distinctive enough, compared to the Oasis 3 and the Paperwhite 11th generation.
The latest generation Paperwhite is a key indicator of Amazons future direction. This includes larger screen Kindles, with the latest E INK Carta 1200 e-paper technology and modern specs. This includes Bluetooth to listen to Audible audiobooks, more storage to handle these files, fast-charging, USB-C and even an ambient light sensor. You can read at night with white and amber LED lights, and Amazon packed the most lights in any Kindle to date on the 11th Gen. The Paperwhite also did not have an cellular capabilities and I got the feeling when talking with Amazon, they don’t intend on including 4G/LTE on future models.
Users liked the Voyage, it was a premium six-inch display that had so many innovations for its time, that they now become standard on pretty well every single modern ebook reader. Will Amazon make a Voyage 2? It looks doubtful, it should have come out years ago, but the development of the Oasis got in the way and Amazon has made three different generations of that model. The Voyage is not a household name, it is similar to other one and done products such as the Kindle DX, a grand experiment but ultimately is there enough room in Amazons portfolio for more devices?
Amazon currently has an entry level e-reader, the Kindle. The Paperwhite/Signature Edition is their midrange and the Oasis is their flagship. Their lineup is simple and elegant, what Kindle you choose to buy is dependent on your use case. Having another new product, might complicate things, but Amazon IS developing something new, it just depends on when it comes out.
The company recently conducted a survey with a number of hardcore Kindle users and Amazon provided two names to a future device, they were Kindle Passage and Kindle Scribe. These two names leads many to believe that Amazon is working on an e-note. Whether this will be an e-paper screen or a multipurpose tablet that has note taking functionality. It would likely be part e-reader and part e-note, similar to what Kobo is doing with the Elipsa and Sage, maybe they would even use the fabled E INK Carta 1250 screen, which only the Fujitsu Quaderno uses right now. Amazon would likely make a boatload of money selling premium templates for drawing, accessories such as a premium stylus and replacement nibs, sleep cover cases.
Suffice to say, although everyone wants a new premium six inch to come out, the Voyage 2, the brand is dead and will never comeback.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.