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Amazon’s rules for naming Kindle generations are highly confusing

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Amazon's rules for naming Kindle generations are hard to understand
How to call the basic Kindle model released in 2019? Amazon makes it difficult to choose / Photo: Amazon

Instead of trying to follow Amazon’s vague rules of counting the generations of Kindle models, we should name them by the year of release.

Which generation is the latest entry-level Kindle that has just been announced and will start shipping on April 10?

If Kindle Paperwhite 4, launched in autumn 2018, was called by Amazon “the 10th-generation Kindle,” many people assumed the newest model is the 11th-generation Kindle, or Kindle 11.

No, it’s not. According to Amazon, the 2019 basic Kindle is… the 10th-generation Kindle, just like the Paperwhite 2018. It’s what you can find in the section of Amazon store with Kindle cases and covers (see the screenshot).

So, we’ve got two 10th-generation Kindles. Keep reading. This is just the beginning.

Just in case you missed it, there were two 8th-generation Kindles: Kindle 8 (wow, the numbers are matching!), and Kindle Oasis 1st-generation.

Do you remember the 7th-generation Kindle? Yes? Which one? Because besides Kindle 7, also Kindle Voyage is officially classified as Kindle 7th-generation.

If you are confused which Kindle you own, head to Wikipedia. Amazon Kindle wiki entry does a great job in organizing Kindle models into generations. And the 2019 Kindle model is described here as “Kindle 9.”

The fact that for the first time the number of the basic Kindle model does not match the current number of the generation is the source of the biggest confusion. Well, for the first time, its number is lower than the number of the generation (are you still with me?).

No matter how clearly shown is the structure of Kindle generations, it is still hardly difficult to find a rule. It’s hard to understand why certain models fall into the same generation, and others don’t. For instance, why the 2nd-generation Kindle Oasis is the only 9th-generation model?

Quite possibly, it’s related to Amazon’s development of Kindle models. Some models share similar components or are a part of the same marketing plan. No matter the reason, consumers need to have clear signals which Kindle model they are about to buy.

How should we call the basic Kindle released in 2019?

According to Wikipedia, it’s “Kindle 9.” According to Amazon, it’s “Kindle 10th-generation,” what most people will immediately decode as “Kindle 10.” According to math, it should be “Kindle 11.”

What is your pick: Kindle 9, Kindle 10, or Kindle 11? Or maybe it’s safe to just call it “Kindle 2019.”

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