These Amazon Kindle Devices Are About To Lose A Key Feature For Downloading eBooks

Amazon Kindle DX
Do you own an older Amazon Kindle device? Depending on the model, and whether or not you still use it (or plan to again), you may want to make a list of e-books you want to download and hop to it while you still can. Starting in a few months, the ability to download e-books using the cellular functionality in certain models will disappear for good (owners of newer Kindles need not worry).

This is not Amazon playing a cruel trick on digital bookworms. Instead, it is a result of mobile network operators (MNOs) in the United States getting ready to switch off older 3G and 2G cellular signals, as they move to make further inroads in 4G and 5G connectivity. Due to this, Amazon has been sending out emails to affected customers to let them know their Kindle will lose this capability.

Depending on the specific model, this is potentially a major bummer, because they are only outfitted with a cellular radio, with no Wi-Fi capabilities.

"This means that some prior generation Kindle devices, including Kindle (1st and 2nd Generation) and Kindle DX (2nd Generation), will no longer be able to connect to the internet," the email states. "Customers who own these devices will still be able to enjoy previously downloaded content on their Kindle, but they will no longer be able to access or download new content wirelessly."

Several other devices are affected as well, but at least they have Wi-Fi connectivity to fall back on. They include...
  • Kindle Keyboard (3rd Generation)
  • Kindle Touch (4th Generation)
  • Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation)/(6th Generation)/(7th Generation)
  • Kindle Voyage (7th Generation)
  • Kindle Oasis (8th Generation)
If you own one of those devices, you will still be able to download e-books through Wi-Fi, but not on a cellular connection, once the older networks go offline. Those networks will begin shutting down in December, so affected Kindle owners have a few months to make preparations.

To soften the blow, the email Amazon has been sending out offers a couple of item credits as a "thank you for being one of our earliest customers." One of them is a $50 credit towards the purchase of a new Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis, valid through August 15, 2021 9at 11:59 pm PT), with coupon code NEWKINDLE50. And the other is $15 in e-book credits.

The exact date that 3G and 2G cellular connectivity goes offline varies by carrier. Verizon is one of the first, with plans to flip the switch on December 31, while T-Mobile is potentially one of the last, with plans to turn off its older networks in April of next year.