Amazon.com to ship Kindle DX ahead of schedule

New large-screen e-reader to reach customers June 10 ahead of planned third-quarter release

Amazon.com's new large-screen Kindle DX e-reader will ship earlier than expected, the company said Monday.

Amazon will begin shipping the product to customers on June 10, earlier than the third-quarter release the company had planned.

Amazon unveiled the new e-reader and allowed customers to begin pre-ordering it on May 6. The product, a follow-up to February's release of the Kindle 2, features a larger screen and more memory than either that product or its predecessor, the original Kindle released in November 2007. Kindle 2 also shipped slightly ahead of schedule.

The Kindle DX features a 9.7-inch screen, aimed at making it easier to read newspapers, textbooks, magazines and business documents. Other Kindle products have a 6-inch screen and were aimed mainly at reading paperback novels.

In addition to the regular online and retail sales channels, Amazon.com has worked out several distribution deals for its new devices, hoping to encourage customers to use them for their extended purpose.

The New York Times Company and Washington Post Company plan to launch pilots with Kindle DX this summer. The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home-delivery is not available and who sign up for a long-term subscription to the Kindle edition of the newspapers.

In addition to the distribution deals with the newspapers, Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia will distribute hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students so that they can use them to read textbooks.

The Kindle DX costs US$489 versus $359 for other Kindle devices.

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