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What Does Kindle Mean?

Kindle is a portable, wireless e-reader that allows users to browse, download and read e-books, magazines, blogs, newspapers and other digital media. Kindle mimics reading on paper, by using electronic paper and E Ink to display up to 16-level grayscale. Kindle was developed in November 2007 by Lab126, Inc., a small subsidiary of


In 2009, the Kindle app was released for PC and Macintosh computers, iPhone and iPod Touch. The app allows users to read Kindle e-books on other devices without additional costs. In 2010, the Kindle app was released for the iPad and other tablet computers, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Techopedia Explains Kindle

Depending on the version, Kindle’s features include:

  • E-book reading
  • Wireless downloads via Wi-Fi, Sprint’s 3G service or Amazon’s 3G Whispernet
  • A 6-inch screen and 10-inch display with the DX model
  • Music storage and playback, including MP3 files
  • NowNow – a search engine used for simple search

The first Kindle was exclusively released to the U.S. market in late 2007. Priced at $399, it sold out within hours of release and remained out of stock until April 2008. The original is the only Kindle with an expandable secure digital (SD) card slot. It also features a 6-inch diagonal screen, 250 MB of memory and a four-level grayscale. The first version’s internal memory could hold approximately 200 non-illustrated titles that may be downloaded for purchase from Amazon.

Kindle was first released with more than 88,000 digital e-books for download. As of 2011, more than 125,000 titles are available.

In August, 2010, the Kindle 3 was announced, boasting free and built-in 3 GBps connectivity and Wi-Fi, higher contrast than earlier versions, faster refresh rates, a smaller size and higher internal memory than previous versions.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.