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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 4G Tablet Delayed By FCC In US

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

US customers for the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 4G tablet will have to wait till the Android device passes FCC tests

Sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 4G tablet have been held up – because the top end device launched last Thursday does not yet have approval from the US telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The delay will not affect customers in the UK, where the Kindle Fire HD is available in a Wi-Fi only version, not with mobile network connectivity.

US customers who placed an order for the $499 (£311) tablet after the launch have received a reply saying: “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.”

Kindle fire  interference fears

FCC approval must be granted for all mobile phones and tablets using cellular networks in the US, to ensure they do not interfere with other devices.

Normally a formality completed well before launch, the process is unlikely to delay sales for very long, but Amazon is taking a very unusual risk in putting a product on sale before approval is granted.

Amazon has not been able to state how long the delay is expected to be, which has added an unwelcome note of uncertainty to the long-awaited launch.

“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,” John Jackson, a wireless analyst at CCS Insight, told Reuters.

UK Amazon spokespeople told TechWeekEurope that no extra delays were expected for the new Kindle Fire tablets in the UK, confirming the UK shipping date for the Kindle Fire HD as 25 October. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 4G version is not available here, nor any Fire HD using mobile networks other than 3G. However, as these are the first of Amazon’s Android tablets to make it to the UK, demand is expected to be big.

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