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March 23, 2017

What is a Kindle?

E-reader first developed under the code name 'Fiona'.

By Ellie Burns

A Kindle is an e-reader developed and sold by Kindles allow users to browse, buy, download and read e-books, newspapers, magazines and other digital media.

Books and digital media are accessed and downloaded to a Kindle via a wireless connection to the Kindle Store – an online e-book store by Amazon.

Kindle started life when founder and CEO Jeff Bezos set his employees the mission of making the world’s best e-reader. Originally codenamed Fiona, the Kindle name was suggested by branding consultants Michael Conran and Karin Hibma, who liked the term’s association with starting a fire.

What happened when the first Kindle was released?

First released in 2007, the first generation Kindle sold out in five and a half hours and remained out of stock for five months. There have since been many iterations of Kindle, with the device changing markedly with each major release. Kindle Touch saw the Kindle keyboard retired in favour of a touchscreen, while the display was upgraded to a lit LED screen with the Kindle Paperwhite.

The first Kindle without an E Ink display was the Kindle Fire, launched in 2012, which was an Android-based tablet with a colour touchscreen display.

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