Kindle On The Fritz? Remove The Cover.

Dave Zatz —  May 16, 2011

Here’s a weird one… Should your 3rd generation Amazon Kindle begin spontaneously shutting down, fail to reliably power up, sprinkled with a dash of page sync issues, the culprit is most likely your official Amazon Kindle Leather Cover. Apparently, Amazon has been aware of this issue since at least late last year… and the cover is no longer available for purchase. Yet, for obvious reasons, they haven’t wanted to draw attention to it with any sort of support note or user outreach that I’m aware of.

Unfortunately, Mom found out the hard way while away on travel. I suggested she contact Amazon, upon returning home, to troubleshoot the unidentified weirdness and/or replace the unit. Her rep stated that what she’s been experiencing is not unusual, but wouldn’t elaborate on the cause, other than to finger that official Leather Kindle Cover. He guided her through removing the offending model and provided a $60 credit to purchase the fully functional upgraded cover with light.

Based on what appears to be symptoms of electrical flakiness and what I gather from the commentary, it seems like the cover’s integrated metal clasps could be getting bent or paint may wear off, resulting in some sort of short. However, regardless of cause, the course forward is clear. Remove Amazon’s leather cover… and call in for your free replacement.

9 responses to Kindle On The Fritz? Remove The Cover.

  1. Oh, and the rep asked my mom what generation Kindle she had. Of course she had no idea and he had to look it up.

  2. Shouldn’t Amazon initiate a recall of the offending cover, instead of waiting for the customer to notify them of the Kindle malfunction?

  3. It’s a good question… Perhaps this doesn’t happen to all covers or maybe not all at the same time. For example, my mom’s had her cover since early fall and the issue just manifested itself. I also assume it’s bad publicity and costly for Amazon to go down that path. Assuming it just messes up performance short term, versus the possibility of bricking the r-reader, maybe they don’t feel the need to be more proactive. Who knows!

  4. Dave, how come the picture at the top of the article shows the 2nd generation Kindle?

  5. Eh, I assume because it looked familiar? (I have the second gen Kindle.) Anyhow, I’ve corrected it – thanks.

  6. Whew, it’s only the old non-lighted cover that has that issue, right? I got my coworker a lighted model for $14.99 (Amazon Warehouse, but looks like new), so was concerned for a moment.

  7. I love my lighted cover. If I ever see this sort of thing I’ll certainly try removing it as part of the fault diagnosis. Thanks, Dave!

  8. from Amazon page on lighted cover

    In addition to securing Kindle in place, our new hinge system conducts electricity from Kindle’s battery to the reading light – when Kindle is attached to the hinge, an electrical connection is formed that powers the light.

    The cover’s hinge points are gold-plated, to ensure a reliable electrical connection. Gold is used because of its ability to make good electrical contact even with low force, and for its corrosion resistance.

  9. To clarify… the lighted cover works exactly as advertised. It’s the non-lighted, non-powered base leather cover that is flawed (and no longer for sale). Weird.