Friday, September 07, 2012

Amazon's Kindle Fire Tablets Will Be Ad-supported With No Non-Ad Options

Update: Amazon has reversed their decision to make all the new Kindle Fire Tablets add supported. According to emails received by several sources an Amazon spokesperson has confirmed that Amazon will let customers pay $15 to opt out of the ads. "With Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15," an Amazon spokesperson told Ars. "We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We're happy to offer customers the choice."

Amazon made a big splash when it introduced their new line-up of Kindle Fire Tablets. However, one thing that many of us overlooked was a single line and a single paragraph on the bottom of Amazon's press release that stated that all of their new Kindle Fire tablets will be ad-supported.

Within yesterday's press release is a small paragraph at the bottom of the of the items descriptions:

Special Offers

The new Kindle Fire family comes with special offers that appear on the lock screen. Examples of special money-saving offers that customers will enjoy include a $5 credit in the Amazon MP3 Store and a $5 credit for select titles in the Amazon Instant Video Store. Customers will also receive special offers and screensavers from brands like AT&T, Discover and Intel, such as a special offer of a $10 Gift Card when a customer uses their Discover card to purchase a digital product on Amazon.

On the each of the devices product pages you'll find a single line that states "Includes special offers and sponsored screensavers. Learn more." Amazon explains that these offers will appear on the lock screen and lower left hand corner of the home screen but won't interrupt use of the device. Unlike previous generation of Kindle e-readers, customers won't have an option to chose between ad-supported and non-ad-supported models. For US customers there is no option to purchase Kindle Fires without "special offers" that display on the lock screen and the lower left corner of the home screen.

The ads are US-only, for some reason. "Kindle with Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers is only available in the US," a note on the Kindle Fire product page states. Fire tablets are also available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. So those outside the US might either get the choice, and an option for a cheaper tablet, or they might be paying a bit more. Amazon hasn't confirmed those plans yet.

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