updated 11:43 am EDT, Sat September 8, 2012
Fire HD should make November 20 release date, assuming no issues
According to preorder confirmation emails, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch 4G tablet has yet to be approved by the FCC for sale. FCC approval is required for all wireless communication products, to assure safe operation that does not interfere with other devices, or broadcasts nearby on the spectrum. Amazon its accepting pre-orders now and is anticipating shipment on November 20.
Attorneys and analysts familiar with the situation and broadcast regulations believe that the FCC is unlikely to reject the tablet, or extend the review process beyond the expected ship date. Unless a disclaimer is made, FCC regulations disallow promotion or advertisement of devices not approved. Amazon's disclaimer says "The 4G device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained."
Electronista spoke with a FCC representative who blames the newly-designed cellular modem coupled with recent submission of the device on the lack of current approval for the device. "Should Amazon have given us the device earlier this summer it would have been done in time for the release, assuming the modem was in compliance," said the FCC representative.
Mitchell Lazarus, FCC approval expert at law form Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth said companies cannot cannot accept orders and payments from retail customers prior to FCC approval. Wholesale orders can be accepted from retailers, but the same shipment prohibition applies.
Companies such as Samsung, Google, Apple, and Nokia have insured FCC approval is obtained prior to device announcements. Sprint-Nextel goes an additional step, and prohibits preorders of devices prior to FCC review. The lack of FCC approval on the 4G device is the second major omission noted from the product announcement, the first being the mandatory advertisements and product recommendations on the device.