Amazon has started sending out emails to customers with older Kindles to notify them about upcoming changes that will soon render the cellular connectivity features obsolete on most previous-generation Kindle models.
Mobile Network Operators are phasing out 2G and 3G networks so all of the older Kindles with cellular connectivity built-in will no longer be able to use these networks.
Kindles that have Wi-Fi will still be able to connect to the internet that way to download books, but all the Kindles with 3G will no longer be able to connect to cellular networks.
Kindle Models That Will No Longer Have Internet Access
Kindle (1st and 2nd Generation)
Kindle DX (2nd Generation)
These early models don’t have Wi-Fi so once the networks shut down they will no longer have internet access at all, so you’ll have to use a computer and USB cable to sideload any new books.
Kindle Models That Are Losing Cellular Connectivity
Kindle Keyboard (3rd Generation)
Kindle Touch (4th Generation)
Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation)/(6th Generation)/(7th Generation)
Kindle Voyage (7th Generation)
Kindle Oasis (8th Generation)
All the models listed above will soon lose the ability to connect to cellular networks, but these models all have Wi-Fi so customers will still be able to connect to the internet that way.
The current models, the Kindle Paperwhite 4 and Oasis 3 (and 2), support newer 4G networks so they will not be affected by this.
See this help page at Amazon for more details: 2G and 3G E-Reader Network Support FAQ.
According to Amazon, the changes will start happening in December 2021. Most 3G networks are getting phased out in 2022, so why Amazon is saying support is ending in 2021 is a bit puzzling, but maybe they’re just trying to get ahead of the massive amount of support requests this is likely to incur.
Amazon is offering some customers with older Kindles a discount and an ebook credit to upgrade to a newer model, but the terms seem to vary by account. You can also trade-in older Kindles to get 20% off a new one.
Ross Presser says
Do you think it would be possible to hook up a 3G Kindle to a personal microcell the 3G UbiCell or the Cisco 3G Microcell? Seems like there should be plenty of these on the used market.
I highly doubt something like that would work with Kindles.
Sheesh! Just download a few thousand books before 3G dies and you’re all set.
It seems that Evil Amazon is offering original owners of the first gen of Kindles free replacements since they are loosing 3G support. Amazon is so Evil.
That is a pretty cool thing to do, but realistically how many people were still using a 14 year old Kindle? Owning one isn’t the only requisite to get a free replacement; people still had to be using it.