Removing 3g modem from a Kindle Paperwhite 2

Why do I need the cloud?

Do I need the cloud connectivity on my kindle everywhere I go? Probably not.

A few years ago I received an old Kindle 3g Paperwhite 2 (2013) 6th from my mother. She wasn't a fan of the screen and decided she preferred a full tablet for reading while I quickly fell in love with the e-ink screen. However my use-case involves mainly e-novels/websites I scrape and upload via Calibre. Given how privacy conscious I have become, and how much of a power drain a 3g modem can be, I've basically had it in airplane mode since I received it.

But walking to my desktop to sync books when the device has wifi capability felt wasteful. Searches on the internet proved fruitless on ways to disable the 3g.

Modular hardware

While searching for a teardown video to determine what the internals even looked like I stumbled upon this video for an older kindle model where it was pointed out how modular Kindle hardware really is. After seeing the wifi paperwhite internals and seeing this video I felt it was likely they were still utilizing this modular design method (after all, if it works), so I cracked open my kindle following this ifixit guide.

Well that was simpler than it looked

Thankfully removing the 3g modem is a non-destructive process (apart from the glue when removing the bezel).

Kindle paperwhite 2 internals
  1. Is the 3g antenna - I didn't remove this.
  2. Is the 3g modem - Held in by 4 screws and attached with a tiny connection plug.
  3. Is simcard slot - Simply push the tray lid in the direction of the arrow to open.
3g Modem removed
  1. Is the 3g antenna connector - This is a simple push connector. A firm pull up away from the board will disconnect this without damage. I used some tape to secure the wire for re-assembly
  2. A loose metal washer, I secured this back in place with the screw I removed previously.
  3. A loose metal washer, I secured this back in place with the screw I removed previously.


This was simply a matter of re-placing the board, screws and lightly clamping the bezel back in place. The glue on the bezel was, thankfully, still sticky enough to re-attach without any issue. As the bezel has no mechanical stresses on it I don't see this ever being and issue.

My next steps

My next steps where to jailbreak/root my kindle to install a couple of useful tools (i.e. a firewall). I plan to go over this in detail along with my remote book managment solution in another post so Stay tuned.