Amazon has just released a new support page for Kindle e-readers that are still receiving firmware updates. Around a year ago, the company quietly introduced a new policy for Kindles. Instead of supporting older e-readers, they only now guarantee software security updates until at least four years after the device is last available on their websites. This means that older e-readers, such as the Oasis 2, will no longer be supported, ditto with the Kindle or Paperwhite 9th generation or lower.
The Amazon Kindle Scribe, Kindle Paperwhite 11th generation, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and the base Kindle are all Amazon’s latest products in their portfolio. These devices will only be supported until 2026, so they will no longer receive firmware updates when this date passes. So, what are the concerns about these models when 2026 rolls around? Sometimes, there are TLS updates, which are security certificates necessary for accessing the Kindle Store and Audible audiobook store; once these expire, you won’t even be able to buy digital content anymore. Not to mention bug fixes or security concerns.
Amazon is an outlier for not supporting older devices. They introduced the new support policy so people don’t hang onto their old e-readers for five years or longer; they want them to upgrade every couple of generations. Kobo is quite different; they support almost every e-reader they ever made, so when a new firmware update rolls around, even their 1st generation reader will still receive it. It can be hit or miss with Barnes and Noble Nooks since the bookseller doesn’t have a support policy. Onyx Boox has the same one as Kindle; smaller brands typically only receive one or two updates during the entire lifespan of the e-reader.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.