Presentation of the first Kindle
Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP
Amazon warns American Kindle customers via email from the very beginning that their devices will soon no longer have Internet access. »From December 2021, the mobile network operators in the USA will switch off their 2G and 3G networks. Customers who use a Kindle e-reader with a 2G / 3G module that was available between 2007 and 2009 can therefore no longer download content wirelessly, ”says the letter published by“ The Verge ”. E-books downloaded up to then can still be read with the devices, but from now on the devices are cut off from access to new reading material.
The background: Amazon only delivered the first models of its e-book readers with Internet access via 3G cellular network (UMTS).
Specifically, the Kindle models of the first and second generation as well as the Kindle DX of the second generation are particularly affected by the shutdown of the old networks because there is no other way for them to connect to the network.
Models that have a 3G cellular module, but also a WLAN module, are less affected.
According to Amazon, these are the Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation), Kindle Touch (4th generation), Kindle Paperwhite (5th, 6th and 7th generation), Kindle Voyage (7th generation) and the Kindle Oasis (8th generation ).
With these devices, you can still get to the Kindle Store via WiFi to buy new books.
Kindle models with a cellular module that were released after 2016 are not affected by the problem, according to Amazon, because they use 4G, i.e. LTE.
In the USA, the company is offering owners of the affected devices a discount of $ 50 if they buy a Kindle Paperwhite (purchase price from 130 dollars) or a Kindle Oasis (purchase price from 250 dollars) to replace their old device.
They also receive a $ 15 voucher for Kindle e-books.
Such an offer is not made to German Kindle customers - for good reason.
Because in this country, even ancient readers will not be cut off from the network for the time being.
Instead, according to Amazon, the old devices will be provided with an update »that enables temporary roaming to other network operators who still support 2G or 3G networks.
The old Kindles will be online via 3G until the last 3G networks are switched off.
After that, they will continue using 2G, and for users that means above all that they will have to be patient when downloading e-books in the future.
Because the old technology is miles away from the usual speeds of modern cellular networks.