Friday, June 24, 2011

The Various Kindle Models - Names and 'Generation' - What Each Does - UPDATED 3/20/12

UPDATED August 13, 2010 to correct UK info, reorganize, and add common Kindle titles.  (Original posting Aug 5)

UPDATED June 24, 2011 to add serial number and other information.

UPDATED March 20, 2012 to add more serial numbers for latest models

NOTE that the webpage titles for the images on the left (click on them to show page titles) display:
"slate-shasta-main-3g" and "slate-shasta-main-3g-white" and that they're both placed (as seen in the URL) under the Amazon subfolders "kindle/shasta\"

The gadget-news rumor was accurate about the coming "Shasta" model. (on May 31).


  While showing the Amazon listing of the Kindle devices for which the two new word games work, it occurred to me that the listing is probably confusing to those new to the Kindle scene.

I tried to clarify what each model 'is' in an update to the Word Games posting.

While doing that, I felt I should put that section in a post of its own, so this is it.
Re the two Kindle-3 photos at the top.  Amazon likes to call the latest Kindle just "Kindle" but that is just not going to work very well these days.

FIRST, SERIAL NUMBERS FOR EACH MODELS (This section was updated in Yr 2011.)
You can find the serial number on the back of your Kindle.  If it starts with:
B001... it's a 6" Kindle 1, US-only, using Sprint
B002... it's a 6" Kindle 2, U.S. version, using Sprint's, released February 2009
B003... it's a 6" Kindle 2, Global version, using AT&T - released October 19, 2009
B004... it's a 9.7" Kindle DX, U.S. version (Sprint)
B005... it's a 9.7" Kindle DX, Global version (AT&T) - released January 6, 2010.
B006... it's a 6" Kindle-3 3G (Free 3G/WiFi) - US/Canadian/some Int'l version (Aug. 2010)
B007...       - Not assigned, that we've ever seen -
B008... it's a 6" Kindle-3 WiFi-Only - U.S./Int'l version
B00A... it's a 6" Kindle-3 3G/WiFi - European only version
    (Kindle-3's are grouped together instead of in B00_ order.]
B009... it's a 9.7" Kindle DX, Graphite, Pearl Screen model
B00E... it's a Basic Kindle No-Touch No-Keyboard model (Kindle-4)
B00F... it's a Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi (Kindle-5)
B010... it's a Kindle Touch, WiFi-only
D01E... it's a Kindle Fire color tablet, WiFi-Only (the only model)

Another way to get the serial number is to have Wireless On, press Menu button, click on Settings and it should be near the bottom of that page.  Or, you can input the numbers 411 there to that and more info.
  BUT for Kindle Fire, press top gear/wheel icon (Settings), choose "More" and then go below "Kindle Keyboard" to bring up on that list "Device"...Press on that to get the Device Serial Number.

I'd like to get the beginning 5 characters in the serial numbers for the Special Offers Kindles (with screensaver ads and offers), both WiFi-Only and the 3G/WiFi models.  If you can help, let me know what the first 5 letters of the serial number are, in the comments area if you can. (Solved)

Amazon may have made a mistake in refusing to recognize former models, in a way, by almost immediately calling the later Kindle-2 just "Kindle" as if Kindle 1 no longer existed, but it certainly does, as a great many stayed with that model and still read on it the many books they currently buy from Amazon.

  The Kindles are more like Cablevision receivers.  They exist so we can order media for them.  It's too bad there's no upgrade path to a later Kindle the way there is with cable receivers that exist to receive and help display the media content in which we're interested.

  Also, it's easier when there are model numbers for receivers, rather than spelling out the "generations,"  Apple started this -- StarTrek must have been the inspiration for that? -- but Apple doesn't call the latest iPod just "iPod" - they identify the latest model with an alpha-character combo so people have a better fix on what they have, and the same with the iPad and iPad 2.

I add -- after the Amazon title & description -- the more common identifer (in italics) that customers use.

Kindle 1
"Kindle, 1st Generation [etc, etc]" is a mouthful.
We did and many of us still do have a Kindle 1, which some dubbed "Kindle Klassic."

  In the small picture of the Kindle 1 (at right), which you can click on to see the enlarged photo, the original Kindle (released in 2007) was displaying, in 2008, some Google search results, via its slow but free 3G web browser.

  Its storage capacity is very low and its screen speed capability is so slow that a cursor could not be placed by the programmers IN the screen and we have to use the vertical column silver cursor to go to the ROW for a given word and then choose one of the words from all the words on that row when we want the Kindle to perform an action.

 These are reasons that software updates will not easily work with the Kindle
 My Kindle 1 continues to work very well as an e-book reader.  But Kindle-1 owners shouldn't expect complex updates to that, as this older device requires different programming and this is usually considered economically not feasible for a company.  I noticed other customers putting 1-star reviews on the word games product-review page just because they weren't re-programmed to also work with the Kindle 1.

Kindle 2 - 2nd Generation
Kindle (2nd Generation) International  and  Kindle (2nd Generation) U.S. - These are Kindle-2  6"-screen models and were the latest 6" versions in-hand until Aug 27, 2010 or so.  The International model uses wireless (AT&T/partners), globally, when accessible.  The U.S. version uses U.S. wireless only (Sprint).

Kindle 3 - 3rd Generation
  1. Kindle (Free 3G + WiFi, 6")  - (Kindle 3  6" with 3G/WiFi)
      {UK:  3G/WiFi}

  2. Kindle (Wi-Fi, 6")  - (Kindle 3  6" with WiFi Only)  
      {UK: Kindle-3 WiFi-Only}

Kindle DX International and also U.S.-only - 2nd Generation
Kindle DX (Free 3G, 9.7", White) International  and  Kindle DX (Free 3G, 9.7" White) U.S.

Kindle DX Graphite, with Pearl Screen - Latest Generation
Kindle DX (Free 3G, 9.7", Graphite) - the Kindle DXG with higher contrast screen
   Released after the two devices just above, which are able to run the games as well.

The Latest Generation DXG with Pearl screen and higher contrast comes only in the Graphite color.  (I've wondered if some may not have noticed that there is a White Kindle 3 as well ... the Graphite model is the one heavily featured.

Kindle WiFi-Only with Special Offers (and screensaver ads + 1 ad in the last line of the Home page) but not seen when you're reading.
Kindle3 SO, WiFi-Only

Kindle 3G/WiFi with Special Offers (and screensaver ads + 1 ad in the last line of the Home page) but not seen when you're reading.
Kindle 3G SO, 3G/Wifi

  With the "Special Offers" Kindle, the ads, not active while you're reading, will always be there.  So that's something you should consider.  On the forums, some are sorry they chose that while others wish they had chosen that because they like the special deals offered (while others say it just encourages them to spend more at Amazon).  It's only a $25 savings in return for seeing ads when you first open your Kindle or are inactive (not doing a page turn, say) for about 10-20 minutes -- but others feel they're saving enough on some Amazon product deals to almost pay for the Kindle.

    . UPDATED Aug 6, 2010 to include that the UK Amazon store offers the Kindle 3 only in the Graphite color and doesn't sell the Kindle DX.

    . UPDATED June 24, 2011 to include "Special Offers" versions of Kindle 3 and to update serial number start-numbers for Kindle 3 models.

  ( See the updated blog article on how WiFi and 3G wireless access differ.

  There is also some information on that in the first half of E-Readers with Web Browsers, WiFi vs 3G cellular access, which should give a basic idea of the situations
    in which each type of wireless is used and what's involved.)

Basically, and in the least words (for once):
1. 3G - cellular or mobile networks -- this type is, as with cellphones, accessible over the air almost anywhere.  You can be on a bus or at the beach and it can work there.
  If your country has the free 3G web-browser enabled, you'll be able to use that feature and in other 3G-browsing enabled countries (about 60).

  Personally, I wouldn't give up this free access for a one-time $50 cost when it normally costs $30-$60/month for this type of unlimted feature on a smart phone.
  As I've mentioned before, I often use the 3G-access when I need step-by-step directions from Google maps/text page when going to a hard-to-find place.

2. WiFi - wireless local area networks (WLAN) -- You need to be near a 'local' area network in this case, so these are usually set up in homes or offices and you can find "hotspots" at places like Starbucks, McDonald's and other cafes though some require a per-hour charge and/or a password/passkey.

  While the Wifi is about $50 less (U.S.), you give up Free 3G cell-phone-type wireless access for the life of the unit.  Note that Apple charges $130 additional for the 3G model of its iPad and then monthly data charges to use 3G.

Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    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 recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. well, i just checked. my KSO 3g? Serial number starts with B006. Weird huh?

  2. Thanks, Cat -
    That was fast. It makes sense in that they've used different numbering only for something different in the hardware.

    Since this would entail software changes only and I SENSE that they will offer the 'special offers' to regular Kindle owners, that there's no real difference, BUT I wonder if they have a different 5th number because when they have us upgrade our software, they usually help us identify which version to download depending on our Serial Numbers' first 4 characters (before the SO models).

    Maybe give me a 5th number so we can compare that slot's contents with others with SO's. No, not 'significant others' :-)

  3. my Kindle special offer wi-fi's serial # starts with B008 The fifth # is an A

  4. I can't seem to find whether this question that I thought I asked a few days ago made it into the comments or whether you had time to answer it, Andrys. I would like to know whether you think accessing the internet in non-wifi situations with the Kindle 3 is any faster than accessing the internet with the Kindle 2. By the way, when someone sees my Kindle 2 and comments on it, possibly mentioning that he/she is thinking about getting an e-reader, I usually point out the free internet access. I don't think I have ever found anyone who knows about that. It happened again today at my dentist's office.
    Thank you,
    Edwina O'Toole

  5. theboardbitch,
    Thanks for that 5th character.

    It sounded promising, as my K3 Regular is B0060, so I thought there might be a pattern.

    BUT, my Kindle 2 is B002A, my Kindle 1 is B001C and my Kindle DXG is B009C -- so that 5th slot seems to be reserved for keeping track of another numbering system already.

    On the other hand, I can't close the book on the idea, since the Kindle 3 is the only one so far with Special Offers, and my 5th character is a '0'...

  6. I just exchanged my K2 (extended warranty... the 5-way controller button split into two) for a K3/SO upgrade for $60 and a $20 credit on any new Amazon purchase (to help buy a new, smaller cover).

    It arrived with the box labeled as Special Offers, but for some reason, the device which was added onto the "Manage my Kindle" page on purchase, dropped off the list. The K3/SO arrived UNREGISTERED for some unknown reason and I had to re-register it. The model is B006A and it has the K3/SO software version of 3.2.1 which is only for the K3/SO. BUT it does NOT HAVE ANY ADS!!!

    Amazon's CS said the hardware is all the same with the K3 and the K3/SO, but that somehow in sending it out, a software switch was turned off making it a regular K3 (even though it has the 3.2.1 Special Offer version software). CS said I could simply keep it and consider I saved myself another $25 or I could return this more valuable K3 for the cheaper K3/SO, or he could send a trouble ticket up but it could take days or weeks before they figure out how to remotely turn my K3 into a K3/SO. I decided to keep it as it is. I have the full 1-yr warranty on it and if there's any trouble, I'm sure I can just send it back for a replacement K3 or K3/SO.

  7. Eo, you need to check a box while commenting, that lets know that you want to be notified re other comments in that thread.

    Your question and my response are in the discounted books blog entry.

    Let me know you've seen it though after you get this.

    I totally agree with you on 3G. It's false economy not to take it, knowing the cost of 3G hardware and then the monthly data charges that normally come with it.

  8. Anonymous at 12:39 am PDT
    You lucked out. Personally, as I've said in the blog, my Kindle is my refuge from the onslaught of ads in this world. I don't want even that last book slot in my Home page used for it.

    Some are complaining that it's constant Oil of Olay lately and they're tired of it.

    Others do like the minimal Special Offers that can add up, but it encourages spending of money when you're not feeling a need.

    Amazon doesn't ordinarily do upgrades, but that extended warranty turned out to be a good choice on your part. Do you notice how much crisper and clearer the text is on the K3 screen? For me, it's addictive.

    At any rate, you got a good deal!

    Interesting that your model is B006A ! That's two out of two now. Mine is B0060.

    Your software version MAY later "tell" the next software update that your Kindle is meant to be updated with the SO version of software, but if your software switch for ads is turned off, it may remain turned off (or it may do a check on the situation and then turn it on).

    Just thinking outloud.

    At any rate, congratulations!

  9. My Kindle 3 3G version (International) has serial number starting with B006 so I guess all third generation Kindles with 3G are under same serial number?

  10. gabal,
    Yes, see the other comments so far. Thanks for your input.

    Could you tell us your fifth character of the serial number? So far, I have two Kindle 3's desginated Special Offers, with 'A' as 5th character.

    My non-Special Offers Kindle 3 has B0060

    Trying to see whether there's a pattern ...

  11. My Kindle 3 special offers with WiFi starts with B008 A0A0.

    By the way, if you can find someone who's good with statistics, you could probably get a good idea of production quantities, even with a limited sample. Our US Army did that with one model of capture/destroyed German tanks and missed the actual production quantity by only one. Of course, that means figuring how what all the numbers and letters mean. Sometime they refer to dates as well as quantities.

  12. Andrys -
    Thanks for your response and for linking to your original reply. I did see, last night, after I posted my comment, how to subscribe to comments. That is very convenient.
    Thank you for all information you supply at Kindle World. I really appreciate it.
    Edwina O'Toole

  13. I have a relatively recent Kindle in the UK - WiFi version - serial number begins B008 A0A0.

    My older 3G Kindle bought in the UK has a serial number beginning B00A A0A0

  14. Inkling, that's one more Kindle 3 SO with a 5th character of "A" I hadn't realized you went for a Special Offers one. Thanks for the info.

    Edwina, glad you found that comment subscription box. Thanks for the nice words.

    Simon, your relatively recent Kindle in the UK - WiFi version - serial number begins B008 A....
    (Is that an SO one ? That number sells in the U.S. also)

    Your older 3G Kindle bought in the UK has a serial number beginning B00A A...
    which Amazon designated "European*

    Why did you also buy the the more-limited WiFi only (B008 A...) later? For someone else in the household? You say it's relatively recent. Does it have Special Offers ? Probably not since you're in the UK, I think.

    (It's all so confusing).

  15. Andrys,
    I have a B004KDX US. It's on Sprint not AT&T. Amazon only switched to AT&T when the international versions came out -- Sprint didn't have sufficient international coverage for Amazon's purposes.

  16. Ed,
    Thanks ! I actually knew that since I bought and used a DX original for a long time and took it to Egypt/Jordan with me, where I couldn't use it of course, because it wasn't AT&T -- but I definitely goofed up while updating my June 14, 2010 posting :-)

    I've corrected it. I didn't do a strike-out since it's all confusing enough already.

    Appreciate that you gave it a good look and caught that, as you normally do anything.

  17. can anyone tell me is my kindle series 1 or 2 . serial no. DO25AOAO244******. they say it's kindle fire hd 7" ( KINDLE 7 )

    1. Chris, you have the first Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet, from the Yr 2012 launch in Sept of that year. It has 16 GB of storage.

      Sorry for having seen your note so late.


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