Amazon warns that some older Kindles will soon start losing cellular connectivity

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,441   +132
Staff member
In brief: Amazon is warning that some early Kindle devices may soon lose their ability to connect to the Internet. In a support document on the matter, Amazon notes that devices that rely on 2G or 3G networks could soon lose their cellular connectivity. Impacted devices include the first and second generation Kindle as well as second generation Kindle DX readers.

The change has nothing to do with Amazon directly, but rather the fact wireless providers are starting to phase out support for dated networks in favor of speedier standards. Because these models don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities, they’ll be unable to connect to the Internet once the older networks are deactivated.

There’s no firm timetable as to when these Kindles will lose their connection as it’s entirely based on the carriers, but Amazon warns that it could start happening this year.

Verizon has said it plans to turn off its 3G network on December 31, 2022. AT&T’s 3G network will disappear in February 2022 and T-Mobile is rumored to be shooting for an April 2022 shutdown.

Amazon notes that users will still be able to enjoy previously downloaded content once the networks go dark. The option of a wired transfer will still be on the table, but of course that’s a bit more of a hassle.

In an emailed statement to The Verge, Amazon outlined the following credits and offers being made to impacted users.

For customers with Kindle (1st Generation), Amazon is offering a free Kindle Oasis (10th Generation) device and cover.

Customers with Kindle (1st and 2nd Generation), Kindle DX (2nd Generation), and Kindle Keyboard (3rd Generation) can receive $70 off a new Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis, plus $25 in ebook credits.

Customers with Kindle Touch (4th Generation), Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation, 6th Generation, and 7th Generation), Kindle Voyage (7th Generation), and Kindle Oasis (8th Generation) can receive $50 off a new Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis, plus $15 in ebook credits.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,229   +5,931
That's absolutely incredible that you can lose connectivity because the radios aren't forward looking.

Tesla's early production cars are set to have the same problem.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 277   +325
That's absolutely incredible that you can lose connectivity because the radios aren't forward looking.

Tesla's early production cars are set to have the same problem.
I am not holding out hope that car makers are going to bring out upgrade kits for older models with new connectivity and sensors etc as required, I am guessing cars are going to get much more disposable (hopefully with most of the contents being effectively recycled at least).
 

brucek

Posts: 863   +1,253
That's absolutely incredible that you can lose connectivity because the radios aren't forward looking.
This is not my area of engineering expertise, but how would it be possible to build a "forward looking" radio that could support all future signaling technologies including ones that have to be invented?

What is possible is to have infrastructure that supports "backward looking" older standards, and government and other pressures could help ensure that as long as its appropriate, but even taking all profit motive out of consideration there's going to come a time when society as a whole is better off assigning spectrum and other resources to more efficient technologies despite it obsoleting existing equipment.
 

Scshadow

Posts: 652   +309
This has been a long time coming. I'm surprised that Amazon would offer anything on a service everyone knew wouldn't be around forever. I don't know a whole lot about cellular deployment but I'm loosely aware that 4G unified voice and data transmission on the same network. They've been wanting to get rid of 3G for awhile and as far as I know, 4G is fully deployed. Its time that 3G devices go away.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,837   +790
It surprises me that these devices didn't come with WiFi. That's incomprehensible to me. But AT&T supposedly turned off 3G some time ago, or so I thought. I don't have access to 3G on any phone, so not sure what's going on with Amazon Kindle. Must be an agreement between Amazon and the carriers through device ID I guess. In 2016, I was able to surf the net on my laptop WiFi connected to my phone hotspot (4G channel) and take a phone call (3G channel) at the same time. Once they supposedly shutdown 3G service, I no longer had that ability. At least not with that phone. I haven't tried since because I have internet now and want to charge for mobile hotspot service, which I will not pay. I paid for the data. It's my data. It shouldn't matter how I use it.
 
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Norsiiii

Posts: 80   +105
That's absolutely incredible that you can lose connectivity because the radios aren't forward looking.

Tesla's early production cars are set to have the same problem.
How are they supposed to include radio functionality that will work with protocols that don't exist yet and at frequencies that aren't in use at the time of manufacture?

It's not a simple matter of firmware - the components are not compatible
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,292   +3,369
How are they supposed to include radio functionality that will work with protocols that don't exist yet and at frequencies that aren't in use at the time of manufacture?

It's not a simple matter of firmware - the components are not compatible
Have someone from the future come and give us the blueprints.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,217   +5,972
Oh sh!t...! Does this mean these poor souls with these devices will have to go back to reading actual paper books?

(Quit complaining, it's not like you're going to have to lug around stone tablets). :rolleyes: