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Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G tablet still needs FCC approval

by David Needle

September 7 2012

Amazon debuted 3 new Kindle Fire tablets this week.
Amazon debuted 3 new Kindle Fire tablets this week.

In an ideal world Amazon would have preferred to make the new tablets it unveiled yesterday at a high-profile media event in Santa Monica, Calif. available immediately, but it turns out there’s a very specific reason for why at least one of the models is delayed.

Although it’s already taking pre-orders for all three new models, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G hasn’t yet received FCC approval. Reuters says it received a pre-order note back back from Amazon with the following reply:

"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."

Amazon said the Kindle Fire HD, a replacement to the original 7-inch Kindle Fire, will ship September 14. But it said the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 ($299) and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G $499) would not be available until November 20.

The timing on those latter two devices means availability will trail both Microsoft’s scheduled launch of its Surface RT tablet and Windows 8 releases by its partners.

Apple is also expected to unveil an iPad Mini sometime in October and the company generally makes its products available on day of announcement or shortly thereafter.

An Amazon spokesperson told Reuters that it expected FCC approval before November 20 and analysts quoted in the story said they’d be surprised if there were any further delays.

Amazon is actually taking advantage of an exception to an FCC rule that bars devices from being sold before they receive FCC approval. The exception permits  advertising as long as a disclaimer is included in the promotion,

In Amazon’s press release and the product description pages on the company's website there’s a disclaimers that says:

"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."

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