3G-only Kindles begin their long, slow death this year

Enlarge / 2007-era Kindles had a pretty good fourteen-year run—but we imagine there are some 2016-era Kindle Oasis (8th-gen) owners feeling pretty salty about their free 3G broadband going away right now. (credit: Mel Melcon via Getty Images / NineFiveSeven / Jim Salter)

This Wednesday, Amazon sent a notification email to customers who bought early Kindle e-readers. First- and second-generation Kindle and Kindle DX devices had no Wi-Fi support, relying solely on free 3G connectivity to reach Amazon—which is a real problem for those devices, since US mobile network operators will begin reclaiming 2G and 3G frequency bands for use with 4G and 5G this year.

Owners of first- and second-generation Kindles should still be able to use the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page on Amazon to transfer books to Internet-orphaned Kindles via USB cable, but that’s hardly convenient compared to the devices’ original promise of freedom from wires and Wi-Fi passwords alike.

First-gen Kindle owners can get a free 10th-gen Kindle Oasis and cover, and second-gen Kindle and Kindle DX owners are eligible for $70 off a new Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis, plus $25 in e-book credits—but you’ll need to use a promo code from the email Amazon sent in order to qualify. Without the promo code, Amazon only offers first-generation Kindle owners a $5.00 Amazon gift card.

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