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New Kindle Touch 3G removes access to most of Internet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezosintroduces the new Kindle Touch in New York.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezosintroduces the new Kindle Touch in New York.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The new Kindle Touch 3G will have limited access to the Internet
  • The 3G version of the Kindle Touch with special offers costs $149
  • The Kindle Keyboard 3G will continue to have unfettered Internet access

(ArsTechnica) -- Amazon has clarified that the next generation of its 3G Kindle, the Kindle Touch 3G, will not be able to browse the Internet without a WiFi connection. Users will still be able to use 3G to sync book and document purchases, but anything beyond Wikipedia will be off-limits.

Browsing was (and still is) an experimental feature on the last iteration of the Kindle, now known as the Kindle Keyboard 3G. The experiment appears to have failed as far as Amazon is concerned, as it will restrict the 3G access of the Kindle Touch 3G to browsing Wikipedia and downloading books and periodicals.

The Kindle Touch 3G's webpage does not directly note this restriction, stating only that it has "free 3G wireless" that "works globally," but a post in the official Amazon forums states that "experimental web browsing (outside of Wikipedia) on Kindle Touch 3G is only available over WiFi."

Since Amazon subsidizes all Kindle owners' 3G use, the company may have determined the model isn't cost-effective enough to support the use of the entire Internet.

The 3G version of the Kindle Touch with special offers costs $149, 50 percent more than the $99 WiFi version, so this restriction may make the jump from WiFi to 3G much harder for customers to justify when both models become available November 21.

The announcement doesn't affect the new Kindle Fire announced last week and due for launch November 15, since it is WiFi-only. The Kindle Keyboard 3G, while it is still available, will continue to have unfettered Internet access through the experimental browser.

We asked Amazon for confirmation of this policy, but have not received a response as of yet.

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