Amazon is making it known; probably for the last time that 5th-gen Kindle or older devices are due for a critical firmware update, otherwise those select e-book readers will lose connectivity.
It would be a crippling blow for a device that draws its relevance from the bouquet of Amazon online services, which include connecting to the Kindle Store to download books or the ability to sync with the cloud.
The deadline for updating the older Kindle e-readers is March 22, beyond which the security certificates on the specific devices will not be relevant anymore.
Amazon explained the new update is necessary owing to the new industry web standards that have come in force as well as in response to the current threat perception.
Essentially, the firmware update applies to Kindle devices launched before 2013. These includes:
- Kindle 1st Generation (2007)
- Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)
- Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)
- Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)
- Kindle 4th Generation (2011)
- Kindle 5th Generation (2012)
- Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)
- Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)
Amongst these, the 1st and 2nd generation Kindle and the Kindle DX 2nd generation can be updated via 2G or 3G connection as is applicable. For the rest of the e-readers, WiFi is the only way to ring in the update.
Among the devices that have been exempted from the critical update requirement include:
- Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013)
- Kindle 7th Generation (2014)
- Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) and
- Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015)
Amazon has stated there will still be a way out for those who miss out on the deadline, though a slightly less desirable one. That calls for downloading the said update manually on a PC and transferring the same to the Kindle device via a USB cable.
Amazon can be considered the pioneers in the field of e-books and e-book reading devices, having been in the business for almost a decade now. Their Kindle e-readers changed the very notion of reading books while introducing concepts such as digital publishing and such.
While Amazon takes pride in the fact that people have taken to reading e-books far more than they did with their paper counterparts, what also cannot be ignored is that the same also led to several controversies related to digital rights of authors and publishers, profit sharing and such. Apple already has found itself at the receiving end of a court judgement that has deemed it guilty of colluding with publishers to jack up e-book prices.