Amazon nixes unlimited browsing on Kindle

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Amazon Kindle users are noting a new support message from Amazon when browsing the Internet using their Kindle 3G – they’re now being limited to 50MG of browsing per month on their 3G network.  The days of unlimited browsing for Kindle users are over, apparently.

Amazon has had a 50MG limit imposed since the Kindle 3G first launched, but has not enforced it until now.  The move was to make the Kindle competitive with true tablets like the iPad and to gain interest from users once word got out that the 3G browsing limit was not being enforced.

The 3G bandwidth limit does not apply to access to Amazon.com and media downloads purchased from there, but does mean that browsing the Web otherwise will be extremely limited.  It does not affect WiFi access, of course.

The limit also applies to the Kindle Touch, but when that device released last fall, the limit was enforced from the get-go, causing some users to go with a Kindle 3G instead in order to take advantage of the unlimited access.

Back in February, someone posted a hack to allow your unlimited 3G Kindle to port to your laptop so you could use it on your computer all the time.  While a few probably did do this, the number of people who did was likely not significant enough for Amazon to have really taken notice.  Rumors that this is the reason for Amazon’s crackdown are flimsy for that reason.

It’s more likely that Amazon left it uncapped in order to attract buyers.  Now that the Kindle 3G is nearing the end of its product life and will likely soon be replaced with another model, it was time to impose the limits now and save the corporate pocketbook from the expense before a new iteration released, thereby keeping bad PR to a minimum.

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