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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Does the Kindle require an Amazon account?


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Showing 1-25 of 34 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 11, 2012, 9:06:28 AM PST
I was planning to buy a new Kindle Fire for a relative who lives in a religious community. He does not have regular access to the internet and does not have a credit card so he does not have an Amazon account.

I thought he could use it to read eBooks he could side-load onto the Kindle (he does have a computer) but I don't know if the Kindle is usable by someone who does not have an Amazon account. Can anyone tell me?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:12:56 AM PST
quilt lover says:
Hey Mike, your friend would be better off with the basic or another e-ink version for reading. If he has a computer he can easily set up an Amazon account.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:13:06 AM PST
PeepDittie says:
He'll need an Amazon account, especially for the Fire. Fire isn't going to be very functional without regular and easy access to wi-fi and a credit card. An e-ink Kindle would also require an Amazon account but he could fund that with just gift cards, and a 3G e-ink Kindle would eliminate the need for wi-fi or a computer to download e-books.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012, 9:13:06 AM PST
If you want content ( books, apps, games, movies) from Amazon, you need an Amazon account. To buy apps it needs to have a credit card attached to it. But honestly, if they don't have wifi, a tablet is useless.

If it's just for reading, he's better off with an eInk kindle. If you buy him the Paperwhite 3G he doesn;t even have to sideload, he can download the books through 3G. You can also sideload books from other sources, so you don't necessarily have to have an Amazon account, but the device has more functionalities if it's linked to the account.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012, 9:17:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012, 9:18:50 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
If all (or most) of what he would use the device for is reading - as opposed to streaming videos, reading high-color documents such as magazines, etc. - might I suggest one of the eInk models with 3G?

Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]

or (my favorite)

Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers

To purchase books, he will need some kind of card - perhaps a cash card and he will need to arrange registration of the device (most easily done via wifi but, at one time, this could be done via the computer. I don't know if that is the case now or not. He will need an Amazon account and that may or may not need to have a cc at the time of setting it up. (I've been on Amazon so long - back when the primary ordering process was via phone and I could pay with a check! - that I'm uncertain what is required now.)

DL

EtA: People type more quickly than I do! Never seem to on time with replies!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:17:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012, 9:19:30 AM PST
Quilt Lover:
He has no credit card so I do not think he can set up an Amazon account. I may be wrong about that, but I suspect you must have a credit card to set up an account.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:19:06 AM PST
Debit card? Maybe an Amazon gift card? I think people have set up accounts with a gift card....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:20:32 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
There has to be some method of payment available. If you set it up for him, you can remove your card once the device is registered and, perhaps, show him how to set up and maintain a cash-card.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:22:23 AM PST
I don't think he *needs* an Amazon account, but it will be easier for him to find books if he does have one. And the Kindle will have more functionality if it's associated with an account.

You have one - could he register his Kindle to your account?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:24:02 AM PST
To Miet the Christmas Monster:

It is a bit complicated. He is currently living in Europe so 3G won't be of any use to him. He has only occasional access to the internet and I am not sure if that is wifi or not. I had assumed that he could get public domain eBooks and side-load them onto the Kindle Fire in pdf or some other common format and that he would like to have the color screen, but perhaps that is not a good idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:25:58 AM PST
quilt lover says:
It would be nice if he had an Amazon account, you need one to borrow from the library, but he can use one of the pre-paid Master Cards (they sell them at the grocery stores with the gift cards) I think that would be sufficient to set up an account, from there on he could use gift cards or refill the Master Card if he wanted to purchase anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:26:08 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
<I don't know if the Kindle is usable by someone who does not have an Amazon account.>

Bottom line: The answer is no. The devices are attached to an Amazon account. If the device has never been registered, it won't even be usable until that happens. If the device has been registered and has content, it can be deregistered and that content will remain on the device. That device, I believe, can be used for nonDRM files that can be side-loaded. If, however, you (or he) wish to put actually "Kindle" books on the device, the device must be actively registered which means it must be attached to an Amazon account.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:27:13 AM PST
Honestly if it's for reading I wouldn't go with the Fire. Except if he reads stuff with lots of graphs. The 3G works in Europe. It's only for downloading books, so no data plan is required.
Normally you can help him set up an account with your credit card, then have him add a gift card and then remove your credit card.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:30:40 AM PST
quilt lover says:
Ix-nay what I said about getting the card at the grocery store. I thought maybe he was living in Colorado City, not Europe, lol!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:34:34 AM PST
To Dog Lover:

He already has a black and white eBook reader although it is not a Kindle. I thought to buy him the Fire because of how well it displays books - I use mine all the time, and because of the color, so I don't think an eInk model would be a good gift idea for him.

I had not thought of a cash card but, since he is living in Europe, 3G is of no use to him as it is not a format used in Europe. There is no ethernet connection for the Fire and I don't know whether or not he has wifi (I guess I should ask him the next time I speak with him - he does have cellphone service). The basic assumption I made was that he would like a color reader and that he could get a lot of public domain books to side-load. Perhaps that assumption is incorrect. I had also assumed that the device would work without an Amazon account and perhaps that is also incorrect.

Fortunately I can always return the Fire if it turns out he cannot use it. I could get him a cash card and register it to him before he gets if that is sufficient to set up a Fire. Perhaps I need to contact Amazon customer service to find out.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:38:46 AM PST
PeepDittie says:
Some of this is going to depend on where in Europe. Fire may be virtually useless to him regardless of the payment method. You'd do much better to consider some open Android if your mind is set on a tablet.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:40:23 AM PST
To Dog Lover:

OK. So the device has to be registered to an account to get content. Suppose I bought an Amazon gift card and then registered it to him with that card. I assume then that he could use the device, even in Europe, and buy additional Kindle content up to the limit of the card. And, I suppose, I could add to that card from time to time to allow him to continue to buy books.

Should that work? Can he buy content with an Amazon gift card while in Europe (assuming that there is 3G service there, something I am not sure of) and download it from there? Or is it only for use in the US?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:40:57 AM PST
quilt lover says:
You might be better off getting him a tablet that doesn't tie him to an account.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:41:51 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
I am also going to suggest you look at other tablets that don't tie him to a specific company.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:42:54 AM PST
To Sugar Plum Dittie:

My mind is not set on any particular product. I saw the new Kindle Fire HD and thought it looked like a very nice display. I currently have a Fire and I think it is a great device, so I thought he might like one also. That is all. I could just as easily get an Android device for him although I don't know if I could get him a cash card for that. Perhaps a cash Visa or Mastercard would work. Something for me to check out ...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:42:57 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
3G is not just a USA feature and ethernet doesn't come into play and this feature doesn't require any membership with any ISP service. (The Europeans can speak more clearly about how this works there.) 3G is only for book downloads and Kindle Store usage.

However, if color is that important to you and to him, the the Fire is the best bet. (Frankly, I wouldn't be able to read on it at all because of the backlighting.)

You can always fully set up the device but if you live in a different geographical region, be careful with that. Your credit card will establish the purchasing area associated with that device until/unless he degregisters it and reregisters which would, then, require access to a credit card.

This isn't as simple as one might think because of those geographical restrictions but it can be easily done if you get all those factors set up before you register the device. (Or have a check-list of what needs to be done to deregiter/register.)

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:43:43 AM PST
quilt lover says:
He wouldn't need the 3g service, it wouldn't help there anyway if you are set on getting a Fire.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:44:11 AM PST
Dude. My advice? Just send money. Or a nice fruit basket.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:46:10 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
I agree that a non-company-specific android tablet may be the best bet for you. If you really want Kindle content, you can always make that happen for that device as well but, at least, the android won't require all of that before being operable (for Open-non-Kindle books.)

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012, 9:46:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012, 9:47:15 AM PST
To Folinlalala DuNöel

LOL

Yeah. Maybe ... It certainly would be simpler!
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  34
Initial post:  Dec 11, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 6, 2016

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