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Happy 5th Birthday to the Amazon Kindle!

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Almost unbelievably, the first Amazon Kindle device launched 5 years ago today. The original was a very chunky affair and was scoffed at by many, but has spawned the age of digital reading and the eReader.

The original model (above) is probably new to many people, as Amazon’s first really big product launch was the Kindle Keyboard. The original was its predecessor; a white and much bigger device with a whole host of buttons slathered across its face and sides. To us it has throwbacks to some sort of instrument that you’d find in a chemistry class at school.

It rocked an 800 x 600 e-ink screen and a paltry 250MB of storage space, with the option to expand on that by using a micro SD card. Amazon seemed to take a disliking to the micro SD card from then on  though, dropping it from every Kindle released since. Thankfully the inbuilt storage has been improved upon though, with 4GB now the standard offering in new models – that’s 16 times the storage of the original Kindle!

When you compare the original Kindle to Amazon’s latest effort, the Kindle Paperwhite, the difference is astonishing. For the company who founded the eReader they’ve really stayed ahead in the game, making their devices slimmer, easier to use and most of all cheaper every year.

The launch of the original Kindle spawned the eReader market, and we’ve now got many alternatives including the Nook, the Kobo and more from rival manufacturers. eBooks can be bought or downloaded for free within seconds from hundreds – if not thousands – or websites and digital stores, putting easily accessible literature at the fingertips of millions. And so we say thankyou Amazon, and thankyou Kindle, for what you started 5 years ago today.

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