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Amazon Rumored to Offer Front-lit Kindles in July

Looks like the monochrome Kindle eReader still lives. Reuters reports that Amazon plans to unleash a tide of new Kindle devices in July that features front-lit lighting. A new version of the Kindle Fire is also expected to appear later this year.

The news arrives after unnamed industry sources said that the Kindle Touch will feature a multi-touch capacitive touch panel, ditching the infrared touch panel used in the previous version. It will also sport color, replacing the boring monochrome visuals. It was assumed that the Kindle Touch would become the baseline model, yet the latest report claims otherwise.

But Reuters' source claims to have seen a working prototype that still relies on E Ink's display. Naturally with integrated front-lit lighting, users won't need to purchase and attach an external source. The only drawback is that this solution will likely consume more battery power, causing the user to charge the device more frequently than before.

The source also told Reuters that the new lighting feature will be included on both Kindle Touch units (Wi-Fi only, 3G) -- it's presumed the base $99 model will also have this lighting. As for rumors regarding color screens, these reportedly won't be ready until next year -- Amazon is still negotiating with E Ink over its new tech. That said, the new wave of Kindle eReaders will sill be monochrome, but feature the added lighting while remaining in the same price range.

As for the new Kindle Fire, the 8.9-inch tablet is expected to launch towards the end of the year -- probably in the same timeframe as the original Kindle Fire.