Will the FCC Rain on Amazon’s NEW Kindle Fire?
Last week, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced the new Kindle Paperwhite and the next generation of Kindle Fire. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos slammed Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus and put the new Fire at the frontline of the increasingly competitive tablet market.
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Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for the Fire, including the $499 8.3-inch 4G enabled HD version, which is meant to challenge Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad at the premium end of the market. The new Fire is expected to ship on November 20, except that the device hasn’t actually been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yet.
FCC regulations only permit advertising a non-approved device as long as a disclaimer is attached. Amazon’s pre-order promotion specifically states that the device is not yet approved and may not be available for sale until authorization is obtained, but it is unlikely that it will take longer than the expected ship date to get approval.
“Most companies try to get FCC work done before they announce new products, so they don’t have to make these awkward disclaimers,” said Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth partner Mitchell Lazarus. A 27-year veteran of obtaining FCC approval for new technology, Lazarus adds that companies like Apple and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) never have these problems.
The approval is most likely related specifically to the device’s 4G modem, which Amazon engineered itself so it would be thin enough to fit in the new Fire. Bezos said the new modem is only 2.2 millimeters thick.
Amazon was up almost 4 percent last week on news of its new product announcements.