Can a Big Screen Kindle Save Local Newspapers?

There’s a lot of speculation that Amazon’s press conference scheduled for this Wednesday will be used to introduce a big screen version of the Kindle ebook reader…

New Amazon Device Debuts Wednesday (All Things Digital)

The Big Screen Kindle Hail Mary To Newspapers Will Fall Incomplete (TechCrunch)

TechnCrunch’s MG Siegler seems especially pessimistic about a large screen Kindle in general. He points out that the current Kindle 2 is overpriced (something that has held me back from buying one given my current book reading habits and pace) and that a larger Kindle would be too inconvenient to carry (I was thinking the same thing after reading the initial flurry of announcements).

But, here’s a thought: What if Amazon prices the new large screen Kindle at $369 (the Kindle 2’s current price) and pushes the Kindle 2 price down to $199. Personally, I don’t think this is realistic given that the Kindle 2 just came out itself. But the Kindle 2 at $199 might convince fence sitters like me to buy one. And, it might even save local newspapers from going under if (and this is a big “if”) local papers can sell the Kindle 2 as part of their subscription and if (another big “if”) local newspapers can go truly hyperlocal (including advertisements and e-coupon technology).

I would switch my subscription to an electronic one if my local papers moved to a good (keyword “good”) e-format (their current ones are ok, but not good). I’m not sure what pet owners who depend on newspapers would do if they went 100% e-newspaper though. Perhaps, newspapers could keep printing the Sunday editions for pet owners? 🙂