Trouble ahead? 4G LTE Kindle Fire doesn’t yet have FCC approval for sale

Kindle Fire HDYou’d hope Amazon knows exactly what it’s doing, but the fact that it announced its new high-end 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD tablet before receiving approval for sale from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will strike some as a little odd, and has been described as unusual by attorneys and analysts with knowledge of the FCC’s procedures .

The FCC tests all new wireless communication devices to discover if they interfere with other signals. Once cleared, the product is allowed to go on sale. According to a Reuters report on Thursday, Amazon has yet to get the green light, despite promising to ship the product on November 20.

The report said that a confirmation email from the e-commerce giant in response to a pre-order for the 8.9-inch 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD said: “We will send you an email asking you to confirm your pre-order of Kindle Fire when it is approved for sale by the Federal Communications Commission.”

Speaking to Reuters about the situation, John Jackson, a wireless analyst at CCS Insight, said, “I can’t think of an instance where a device has been offered by a US carrier or an independent retailer that has not had FCC approval yet.”

Charles Golvin, a wireless analyst at Forrester Research, suggests that failure to get FCC approval prior putting the device on the market can probably be put down to Amazon’s lack of experience with wireless products.

It’s not just the selling of the device which is prohibited prior to FCC approval – marketing is also banned, unless a disclaimer is included in the promotional material.

Amazon is, however, clear about the situation with its new high-end tablet, stating on its website, “The 4G device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.”

Mitchell Lazarus of law firm Fletcher told Reuters that in most cases companies with new wireless communication products go through the procedures with the FCC “so they don’t have to make these awkward disclaimers.”

It’s being suggested that approval may be taking a little longer than usual as the 4G wireless modem being used in Amazon’s tablet is of a new type, whereas many gadgets sent to the FCC for approval contain modems used in products previously passed by the FCC, and so go through the process more quickly.

The other Kindle Fires announced by Amazon on Thursday are Wi-Fi only devices and are fit for sale.

If the FCC does find some serious issues with Amazon’s priciest Kindle Fire, the company will have limited time to sort it out before the holiday season kicks off. Failure to have it on the shelves by then would be hugely damaging for the Seatlle-based company as it attempts to increase its share of a market still dominated by Apple with its popular iPad tablet. 

Mobile

Wireless charging is convenient, but power over distance remains a challenge

While Qi wireless charging is fast becoming ubiquitous for smartphones, allowing us to juice up our devices by placing them on a pad, the promise of power through the air is still unrealized. We take a look at the current state of play.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

T-Mobile says Sprint merger will boost 5G speeds by up to 6 times

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.
Mobile

You can now get Google Fi SIM cards straight from Best Buy

Google's wireless service known as Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi. The company also announced the service is now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about…
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019 Complete Coverage

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked 2019 is going to be a big deal -- not just because it's the first one of the year, but because it's commemorating 10 years of the Galaxy S-series with the Galaxy S10 smartphone. It's also where we'll likely see…
Mobile

Google insists it’s doing what it can to purge Play Store of malicious apps

Google's efforts to provide a secure and safe Play Store for Android users resulted in the company rejecting 55 percent more app submissions in 2018 compared to a year earlier. But the challenge is ongoing.
Wearables

To be blunt, the Vuzix Blade smartglasses just don’t cut it

We tried out the Vuzix Blade to find out if it’s worth shelling out $1,000 for smartglasses. Are these augmented reality, Android-powered glasses really ready for primetime or just an expensive gimmick that no one really needs?
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Mobile

Love music? For audiophiles, the LG G8 ThinQ may be the best phone ever made

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Mobile

Love Playmoji pack adds animated Valentine’s stickers to your Pixel photos

Valentine's Day is here, and to celebrate, Google has added the "Love Playmoji" pack to the Playground feature on its Google Pixel camera. The new feature will add cute AR-driven extras to your Pixel photos.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.