Click on the link above to read the full, brief, but clear answer.
Earlier (just as a historical record now)
FOLLOW UP to earlier "Clarification needed from Amazon re Kindle Touch 3G-experimental G-experimental web browsing feature or omission"
I wrote, the other day, about the slight feature-differences between the older Kindle Keyboard 3G (UK: K3) model and the new Kindle Touch 3G, while also writing a separate piece on a possible BIG difference between the two models that many customers have been asking Amazon to clarify.
See the original blog article for the details if the longtime free 3G experimental web browser feature is an important one for you (I don't think it is to most, as it is quite slow on e-Ink).
It seems the feature will still be offered in the older Kindle Keyboard 3G model. Many in the forums are comparing notes and responses from various Customer Service representatives and waiting to hear something definitive before making final decisions on which Kindle 3G model to get.
After a few days of Amazon Kindle forum discussions about this, there's been no appearance at the forums by anyone from the official Kindle Customer Support team in response to all the questions and the several reported contradictory responses from well-meaning Amazon Kindle Support representatives.
It would be understandable if Amazon has decided not to include the old bonus-feature with the new Kindle models (it was always labeled "Experimental"), but something definitive should be said by someone officially so that people can then make their buying decisions without the confusion seen this week.
The customer support responses 2 days ago were almost 100% reassurances that the feature was included on the Kindle Touch, but starting Oct 1, that has changed, although a few customer representatives, in email or by phone, still respond that both models include the feature.
Reading the latest pages of both forum threads linked (there are many other forum message-threads on it) will give an idea what forumners are up against in trying to decide one way or another.
Last night one customer received unusually firm word, from one support rep, that the older Kindle Keyboard 3G model will still offer the 3G web-browsing feature.
The emailed wording that Mobileread forum member yifanlu received from Kindle customer representative [b]Pushka[/b] is clear and not "boilerplate" in style -- Puska feels that free 3G experimental web browsing will continue on the old model. Yifanlu reported Pushka's response:
" The Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard) supports free 3G experimental internet browsing and I can confirm that it will continue to do so in the future. This feature won't be removed from Kindle 3. "
That's an unusually definite response about the older Kindle Keyboard model going into the future and the "I can confirm" phrase may indicate that Amazon is starting to give Customer Service personnel more solid information to be relayed.
Most would love to have firm wording, either way about the newer model.
I should make clear, though, that no other ereader maker has offered its customers even free Wikipedia via 3G in the first place (which the Kindle Touch would definitely still get), much less internationally as Amazon has done. Customers in 40+ countries receiving "only" free Wikipedia and, of course, the Kindle Store on 3G have often viewed Wikipedia as a "Consolation Prize" because over 60 countries have been given full web access.
The question of cost-effectiveness with 3G carriers has always been there though.
U.S. customers have been one group with full access, and some customer reps continue to respond that U.S. customers still will have that with the Kindle Touch 3G as well. But as explained in the original piece here, the product page has the following wording under the "Battery Life" section of the Kindle Touch 3G product page:
' Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store, downloading content, and web browsing (browsing available only in Wi-Fi mode). 'If uncertain about "upgrading" a Kindle 3G device to the Touch model, I'd pay more attention to that product page wording, since it was put there for a purpose and Amazon hasn't changed it after being made aware that the phrase seen under "Battery Life" rather than under "3G Wireless" has sparked confusion because it would mark a surprising change from what customers have had on the Kindle for 4 years.
Again, most of us stress that we just want clarity on the issue, regardless of what Amazon's decision is on that feature, in connection with the new Touch devices, which would probably make web browisng easier and encourage longer 3G sessions which would likely be costly for Amazon.
UPDATE - Just proving how out-of-hand this is, the latest (unfortunate) customer support response, reported (by LM) at the Amazon forum, says that even WIKIPEDIA is *not* allowed either. That would be probably the first time anyone in the world with Amazon/AT&T 3G wireless at all in their area was not able to access Wikipedia via 3G.
Please know that you will not be able to browse other websites like google, gmail, Wikipedia using the 3G feature. I'm sorry if this disappointed you. However, your Kindle may use wireless connectivity to make other services available, such as wireless delivery of personal documents (see below), which may require an additional charge. Kindle Touch 3G provides free 3G wireless that lets you download books right from your Kindle Touch. Experimental web browsing is only available when connected to a Wi-Fi network." '
UPDATE2 - AND, last night at Mobileread forums, THIS reported customer service answer:
I understand your concern and I'm happy to help.
Kindle Touch 3G has WebKit- Based Browser features; you can browse the web over Wi-Fi and and WhisperNet(3G coverage).
However, for international customer's, Internet access using your Kindle's Web Browser through Whispernet is not available in most countries outside the United States when using your Kindle's 3G connection, however most customers can access Wikipedia and other website. '
How on earth can they be responding with diametrically-opposed views?
UPDATE3 - [LAST two, just to show how utterly bizarre these opposed answers are:
' 10/2 [a "NO, you cannot!" type note]
#1 just now
To add to the confusion, here is the reply that I received when I asked if you can use the touch 3g to email in Europe like you can on the current version:
I'm sorry for the inconvenience caused.
Kindle Touch 3G provides free 3G wireless that lets you download books right from your Kindle Touch. Experimental web browsing is only available when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Please note that you can e-mail using Kindle Touch 3G only when you are connected to Wi-Fi and it is not possible to e-mail with 3G.
Web browsing will be unrestricted for wifi connections and will only allow Amazon.com and Wikipedia on 3G.
We are trying very hard to establish ourselves as a successful online digital store and can assure you of numerous changes in very near future which will enable us to achieve our goal and Customer feedback like yours is very important in helping us continue to improve our website and services.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. '
It looks to me like different people are getting different answers.
[10/2 a few minutes later: [a "YES, you sure can! type note]
#2 just now
I was all set to order the Kindle Keyboard 3G, but I decided to email Amazon's customer service to see if they could enlighten me. Here is the response I got:
Thanks for contacting us with your question about Kindle Touch 3G.
Below is the answer for your 2 questions:
1. Yes, definitely Kindle Keyboard with 3G continue to be available through the end of this year. If the stock ends as this product is selling out very quickly, we will provide more stock.
2. Yes, new Kindle Touch 3G will be able to browse the web using the free 3G service.
If you need any further required information, please let us know.
Thanks for your interest in our newly launched Kindle models."
As the world spins
Original post: 10/2/11, 8:29 AM; Update2: 3:09 PM
Kindle Touch 3G Kindle Touch WiFi Kindle Basic (UK: KBasic) Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G) K3 Special Offers K3-3G Special Offers DX
Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
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