Amazon comes clean about how the 3G shutdown will affect older Kindles


Last month, we asked Amazon what was going to happen when AT&T’s planned 3G shutdown in 2022 lands — an important question, as the company’s Whispernet-branded 3G connectivity for many Kindle devices would be affected, since it piggybacks on AT&T’s network. In some cases, as with particularly old Kindles missing Wi-Fi, this shutdown would mean they’d stop working entirely. While the company wouldn’t answer our questions at the time, now it’s emailing affected device owners explaining they’ll get a $50-70 discount towards a new Kindle and $15-25 in eBook credit, and Amazon tells us that Kindle 1st gen owners are outright getting a free Kindle Oasis.

The company has published a new help page that offers concerned customers more details about the change. The shutdown will affect 3G/cellular models of the Kindle 2 International, Kindle DX, the Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite, 2nd gen Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, 3rd gen Kindle Paperwhite, and the original Kindle Oasis. All these model Kindles (some of which are as recent as 2017) will lose cellular connectivity entirely — in most cases, that was a feature customers would have paid extra for. However, Wi-Fi will continue to work.

Some models, like the Kindle DX, Kindle, and Kindle 2, didn’t even have Wi-Fi to fall back on — they were 3G-only, and they’ll be entirely unable to connect to the internet or the Kindle Store. However, you may still be able to sideload your own eBook files over USB.

Goodnight, my sweet Kindle Voyage. 

Device owners (or perhaps just device purchasers, it isn’t clear) are being sent emails regarding the shutdown. Those with an affected device are being presented one of three offers. OG Kindle 1st gen owners are apparently getting a free Kindle Oasis and cover, Amazon tells us. 2nd Gen, DX, and Kindle Keyboard owners, get $70 off a new Paperwhite or Oasis, plus $25 in eBook credit. Lastly, all more recent affected devices get $50 off a new model and $15 in credit. If you don’t see the email with the offer, sorry: you’re only eligible for the discount if you had a device actively reading between January 1 and July 30th of this year. On top of that, you only get the eBook credit after your new device ships:

The offer expires in about two weeks on August 15th, too, which is kind of lame. Presumably, Amazon doesn’t want customers taking stacking its “generous” offer with any discounts during the upcoming fall deal season.

The Kindle promotion is live now, courtesy of a coupon code embedded in the email, which only affected Amazon accounts should be able to redeem. I assume the eBook credit will land directly to affected accounts.



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