Amazon says that some older Kindle e-book readers will lose their ability to connect to the internet due to the changing mobile landscape.
In a post on the Smile blog, Amazon says the shutdown of 2G and 3G networks still in operation will mean some Kindles without standalone Wi-Fi will no longer be able to access the internet.
The company expects this to happen within 2021, but it will depend on when the mobile network operators phase out the low-grade cellular connectivity.
Those affected models are: Kindle (1st and 2nd Generation) and Kindle DX (2nd Generation). Amazon says users will not lose their pre-downloaded content and wired transfers will still be possible.
Amazon says: “Because these devices do not have Wi-Fi capability, they will be unable to connect to the internet after 2G and 3G networks are discontinued. You will still be able to enjoy previously downloaded content without internet connectivity.”
In an email to affected users, Amazon is offering customers $50 off the latest Kindle Paperwhite or Oasis model, or credits to buy a new book.
Early Kindles like those mentioned above came without Wi-Fi, but did include free cellular connectivity in the purchase price. This was easily coverable by Amazon as e-book files on those early readers were essentially tiny text files.
It made it easy for people to update their book libraries on the go, Amazon sold more books and everyone was a winner.
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However, the Wi-Fi capabilities added with later models brought greater speed and easier access for larger file sizes as the Kinde reader screens improved with devices like the Paperwhite.
Other devices mentioned by Amazon include models that’ll also lose the cellular connectivity, but will still be able to connect via Wi-Fi.
They are: Kindle Keyboard (3rd Generation), Kindle Touch (4th Generation), Kindle Paperwhite (5th, 6th and 7th Generation), Kindle Voyage (7th Generation) and Kindle Oasis (8th Generation).
Kindles with 4G and Wi-Fi-only will not be affected, only those mentioned by Amazon in the blog post today.