The US government shut down this week as a result of yet another budget squabble, and along with the loss of vital services it looks like the shutdown might delay the release of some of Amazon's new tablets.
If you have your heart set on buying a 4G-equipped Kindle Fire HDX tablet then you might be in for a wait.
ComputerWorld beat me to the story this morning, and they reported that:
Apple's new iPhones have already achieved FCC approval, but it is unlikely (though not impossible) its iPads have secured this -- Apple typically leaves such things to the eleventh hour, partly because it knows such approvals are in the public eye -- though there's a chance management had the chance to plan ahead for this.
Product authorizations aren't the only incredibly important FCC task that's grinding to a halt just before the critical Christmas shopping season. Network service approvals, consumer complaints, all kinds of different tasks are being mothballed as thousands of government employees are forced to take time out with no pay.
The FCC website is disabled as a result of the shutdown, so I cannot confirm for certain whether any of Amazon's tablets are still in need of certification, but I think they do.
In the past Amazon has gotten the Wifi and 4G models certified separately (it's standard practice), often using different shell companies for each device. For example, the 2 shell companies that Amazon used to send the Kindle Fire HDX 7" and 8.9" through the FCC last week were named for 2 soldiers from the US Civil War (Kilpatrick and Mosby).
I have found evidence that the new Wifi-equipped Kindle Fire HDX tablets cleared the FCC last Tuesday (here, ), but I have not found any evidence that the 4G-equipped models have been certified. And that's a problem, because Amazon can't sell the tablets without that paperwork.
Amazon is still promising to ship the 4G models in November and December (about a month after the Wifi models), and it doesn't appear that they've delayed the release date yet.
But if the shutdown drags on long enough they might have to do so.
Was anyone going to buy one of these tablets? The additional cost of the 4G wasn't worth it for me, and that went double for the 8.9" model (it started at $110 more than last year's model).
Speaking of which, Amazon has dropped the price of the 2012 KFHD 8.9 to only $229. I think that's a killer price. It might lack all the bells and whistles of this year's model but it is cheap and solidly built.