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

Amazon sent customers who purchased early Kindle ereaders a notification email on Wednesday. The first- and second-generation Kindle DX and Kindle DX devices did not have Wi-Fi connectivity. They relied on 3G connectivity to reach Amazon. This is a problem as US mobile operators will start reclaiming 2G/3G frequency bands to be used with 4G/5G later this year.Owners of Kindles of the first and second generation should still be able use Amazon's "Manage Your Content and Devices Page" to transfer books via USB cable to Internet-orphaned Kindles. However, this is not as convenient as the original promise of the devices being free from wires and WiFi passwords.AdvertisementTo qualify, first-gen Kindle owners will receive a 10th-generation Kindle Oasis cover and a $70 discount on a new Kindle Paperwhite. Second-gen Kindle and Kindle X owners are eligible to get $25 in ebook credits and a $25 Amazon promo code. Amazon will only offer a $5.00 Amazon gift certificate to first-generation Kindle owners without the promo code.Only the first and second-generation Kindles will lose connectivity to 3G sunsets. However, devices up to the 8th-generation Kindle Oasis, which was released in May 2016, will only be able to connect to Wi-Fi. Kindle Keyboard (third generation) users receive the same offer as Kindle DX users, while third-generation Kindles are eligible for $50 off a Paperwhite, Oasis, and $15 in e-book credit.The transition from 3G to 4G will not be easy for Kindles. There will also be a multitude of security alarms that will need to be replaced, including fire alarms and elevator phones. It is important to remember that modern electronics are subject to a short-term expiration date. Budget-strapped electronics purchases should be considered in terms of the expected service life and not the purchase price.