(Update: the Wi-Fi-only version of the Kindle Paperwhite appears to be subject to even more extreme shipping delays than originally thought. Amazon's site is now listing the cheaper Paperwhite model as shipping 17 December - two weeks later than the revised 3 December projection we reported earlier, and nearly two months after the scheduled rollout.
If accurate, this timescale would bring the Kindle Paperwhite's holiday availability into doubt, a major blow for Amazon after it reported a Q3 2012 net loss of £170 million. We're still waiting to hear back from the US online retail giant; however, one of its UK retail partners, Waterstones, told us that the Kindle Paperwhite had arrived in stores as planned yesterday, so the disturbance may be confined to the digital realm.)
Online retail giant Amazon created a lot of excitement amongst UK consumers when it announced that its popular Kindle range of eBook readers and tablets was finally being sent on a pond-hopping adventure.
However, while the September-launched 7in Kindle Fire HD and its big brother, the 9in Kindle Fire HD+, were rolled out as planned yesterday and are currently shipping normally, the October-announced Kindle Paperwhite appears to have run into difficulty somewhere along the way.
Earlier in the month, Amazon promised eager punters a 25 October release for the Paperwhite, a backlit eBook reader that enables users to read in the dark. But yesterday's expected arrival of the device has now been pushed back by over a week, with Amazon's UK site venturing that the new product is "expected to ship" in the week of 3 December.
Amazon's website seems to hint that the Kindle Paperwhite may be experiencing shipping delays due to supply issues: the new rollout timescale is prefaced by the information that the hold-up is "due to popular demand" and bookended by the announcement that pre-orders are now limited to two units per customer. Both Wi-Fi-only and 3G models have been affected by the delay.
In addition to being available for purchase via Amazon.co.uk, the new Kindle devices can also be bought in person from a range of UK retailers - it's unclear whether high street outlets have been affected by the apparent shipping delays, and we're waiting for confirmation from Amazon retail partner the Carphone Warehouse regarding the status of physical Kindle Paperwhite stocks.
ITProPortal has also contacted Amazon's press office for further clarification regarding the shipping issues, and is currently awaiting a response.
Amazon's latest devices appear to be arriving at the expense of older products - recent reports indicate that the digital marketplace is dumping the super-sized Kindle DX from its eBook reader line-up, while the Kindle Touch is also thought to be on the way out in favour of the Kindle Paperwhite.