Your Amazon Kindle and other tech is going to die

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If you have an older Amazon Kindle then at some point in the future it’s going to die. Not because the hardware will fail or other malfunction occur, but because it relies on older mobile network technology that’s being phased out.

Amazon are already warning that Mobile Network Operators are phasing out their 2G and 3G networks. Kindle devices that require cellular connectivity through 2G or 3G networks for internet connectivity will be unable to connect to the internet after these networks are discontinued.

You might not have realised that your Kindle relies on a mobile network as Amazon picks up the bill to enable you to download content with no data charges. But it still uses the network even if you’re not personally paying for it and if the network goes then your devices dies.

This doesn’t just apply to your Amazon Kindle, but to any older devices you have whether they be mobile phones, tablets or any other devices that use cellular networks. 2G is donkey’s years old, 3G was largely superseded by 4G, 5G is rolling out. At some point every mobile operator is going to look at their cellular mast and think if I could just take that old 2G and 3G antenna down I could pop a 5G antenna in it’s place. Largely that’s a good thing… expect for older tech.

The good news is that if you have an Amazon Kindle or other tech that also has a WiFi connection then you’ll still be able to use it. If it’s purely 2G or 3G than at some point it’ll simply die. You’ll still be able to access any data or ebooks stored on your device, but unless you can find an old mobile phone mast to connect to then you’ll never be able to download data again.

Here in the UK, BT is planning to phase out 3G by 2023 although other network operators are yet to announce plans to discontinue older network technology.

When will your Amazon Kindle die?

If you have a really old Kindle then it’ll die when mobile operators cease 3G networks. The devices that will become defunct are:

  • Kindle (1st and 2nd Generation)
  • Kindle DX (2nd Generation)

Other Kindles that will lose mobile connectivity but thankfully have WiFi built in are:

  • Kindle Keyboard (3rd Generation)
  • Kindle Touch (4th Generation)
  • Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation)/(6th Generation)/(7th Generation)
  • Kindle Voyage (7th Generation)
  • Kindle Oasis (8th Generation)

Of course one day these devices will also die…. you’ll be seduced by the promise of a faster WiFi router and as soon as you’ve got in installed you’ll realise it doesn’t support older devices with slower WiFi. But that’s in the future… probably!

2 Responses

  1. I find it amazing that I can be casually told that my kindle will be useless in 2023 because they are ceasing 3G.
    They produced and marketed the Kindle with no mention of “we’ll pull the plug when it suits us” so they should honour their obligations at their expense not at mine. Your obligation is to provide me with a service which you will soon not honour. Crooks and thieves apparently.

  2. Anything “digital only” is precarious… and those books on your Kindle could be edited or deleted at a moment’s notice anyway. If you want permanence, buy physical books. Most charity shops can’t even give them away… and you can pass them on to your children and grandchildren etc. I can see how a Kindle might be useful for someone who travels a lot (like more than 6 months a year) but otherwise I just could not see the point of them. Same goes for streaming music services. Physical media is always best.


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