NYT: Big-screen Kindle coming from Amazon "as early as this week"

Go ahead and grab the salt shaker, 'cause this one's nowhere near carved in stone... or is it? A breaking report from The New York Times has it that Amazon will introduce a larger version of its Kindle e-reader "as early as this week," one that's tailored for "displaying newspapers, magazines and perhaps textbooks." If you'll recall, magazine publisher Hearst made its intentions public to produce such a device earlier this year, noting that a larger panel would be more conducive to traditional print media layouts, and thus, additional revenue from ads. The article also notes that Plastic Logic will "start making digital newspaper readers by the end of the year."

Coincidentally (or not), the Wall Street Journal also published a report this evening that dug deeper into the aforementioned Hearst deal. As the story goes, a number of big-shots in the publishing industry are banding together to set their own subscription rates (rather than go through a middleman such as Amazon), and this writeup asserts that Plastic Logic's reader won't actually roll out until "early next year" (as we'd heard previously). If you're seriously able to handle yet another twist in this madness, WSJ also points out that "people familiar with the matter" have stated that Apple is "readying a device that may make it easier to read digital books and periodicals," but it's hard to say if this is simply regurgitation of unfounded rumors already going around or something entirely more legitimate.

All in all, it's clear that flagging print publications are desperate for a device that caters to its layout and allows them to regulate rates -- only time will tell if there's room for two, three or possibly more of these so-called "big-screen e-readers" in the world, but this week definitely just got a whole lot more interesting.

Update: Press event invite just received, it's on for Wednesday!

Read - New York Times report
Read - Wall Street Journal report