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New Kindle Fires to Come With Ads

Yesterday Amazon unveiled a trio of new Kindle Fire tablets at great prices ranging  from $199 to $499. As I saw in the presentation and the hands-on period, these new tablets have beautiful screens, decent specs, great prices, and are virtually guaranteed to upset the tablet market.

But what Jeff didn’t tell us in the presentation was that there’s a catch. The super cheap Kindle Fire tablets will also be coming with ads on the lock screens. It turns out those rumors about an ad supported Kindle Fire model were true; unfortunately what the rumors didn’t catch was that these ads are not optional.

All the new Kindle Fire models will come with adverts. Every time you wake the KF from sleep you’ll see an ad on the unlock screen. According to the press release:

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.

What’s more, according to the product page for the Kindle Fire HD there will also be ads on the lower left hand corner of the home screen. So the entire time you use this tablet you will be bombarded with ads.

It’s often been said that the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s digital storefront; apparently Amazon decided to take that literally and put up signs advertising sales. I don’t know about you, but I hate ads enough that this might be enough to turn me away from the new Kindle Fires. I’m one of those people who actually paid Amazon to remove ads from my Kindle, just so I didn’t have to see them.

But in this case I’m not sure it’s such a big deal. You can always replace the home screen (I do actually like the stock Android home screens) and editing the lock screens is also a relatively simple task. So really anyone who wants to get rid of the ads can do so; it just takes a little work.

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Mike Cane September 7, 2012 um 7:21 am

Yeah? You can remove the ads? I was thinking about that last night and I’m not so sure. Bezos might have put up with that for the original KF and even eInk Ks — but I suspect people are going to find a nasty TOS that requires ads or there will be some sort of retaliation against their Amazon accounts.

The Ad-Filled Vision Of Jeff Bezos | Mike Cane’s xBlog September 7, 2012 um 8:31 am

[…] New Kindle Fires to Come With Ads […]

George September 7, 2012 um 9:03 am

Not a big deal for me. Both my wife and I wanted the special offers on our Kindles and they haven’t bothered us a bit. I doubt it will bother me on the new Fires.

Robert Nagle September 7, 2012 um 10:39 am

I am definitely anti-ads, but I must admit, that after I bought a Kindle Touch for ebook testing only, I find the ads which inevitably pop up to be incredibly amusing. More seriously, I noticed that on the library page, they laid down a small horizontal strip at the bottom containing an ad — what an idiotic idea because it means it takes longer to scroll through your library. I don’t mind an ad screen saver, but as soon as I’m in reading mode, those ads should be nowhere to be found.

Greg M. September 7, 2012 um 11:44 am

Ads are a dealbreaker. I placed on order for the 8.9″ Fire after it was announced and before learning about the ads. I have an inquiry out to Amazon asking if there is a way to disable the special offers, probably with a fee or something. If not, I’ll cancel my order then look into other devices without ads.

I must say I’m a bit miffed that Amazon would take this course; if some people want lower prices with ads, that’s their choice, but leaving the opt out option unavailable is a terrible business direction, IMHO. It makes me stop and wonder want options might be left off the table in next years Kindle release. The best way for Amazon to lead me to the second rate Nook is to enable ads on all Kindle versions.

Nate Hoffelder September 7, 2012 um 12:05 pm

let me know what they say.

Babyfacemagee September 8, 2012 um 12:07 pm

TheVerge and Engadget are confirming that Amazon has said there is NO WAY TO DISABLE THE ADS. You can’t pay a fee like with the regular Kindle. You’re stuck with them. Buy a Nexus 7. It’s a better device overall anyway with Jelly Bean, GPS, Gyroscope and NFC all of which the Kindle Fire lack. The Google Play Store has 600,000+ apps compared to Amazon’s 50,000 and with the Nexus 7 you can access Amazon’s store as well as Google Play…but you can’t get both on the Kindle Fire.

Brian September 7, 2012 um 2:05 pm

It is interesting that none of the images that seem to display the home screen on the product pages show an ad in the lower left hand corner. Maybe they are removable.

Not that I have ever noticed the ads on Touch much anyway.

But, on a Fire they could be much more intrusive. What if they had animation? Or animation AND sound? {shudder}

Syn September 7, 2012 um 7:43 pm

It seems a bit dishonest the way Jeff ran that conference yesterday. I mean he said the Paperwhite was 119 and never mentioned that was for special offers model. Now all the rage over the ads on the tablets are popping all over the net. He wasted an opportunity to explain how those ads work and how much of a discount having them provided. I would have started off with the unsubsidized price then wowed everyone with the lower price of the special offers so people have a choice.

Chris Meadows September 7, 2012 um 7:55 pm

Engadget says Amazon told them there would not be any options for opting out, but that options for opting out would be announced soon. (Confused? So am I.)

Chris Meadows September 7, 2012 um 7:57 pm

Oh, and you’re only just surprised now that the "standard" price Amazon cites for its Kindles with offers is the with-offer, not without-offer price? They’ve only been doing that for a year now.

Syn September 7, 2012 um 8:39 pm

Yes, but last year he announced the price with special offers. This year it felt like they were trying to hide it. I mean I really don’t care, but a lot of people do, and I think he should have been upfront about what price was for what.

I went to the site expecting to spend 119 and ended up spending 139. That knocked the sail out of my happiness for a few minutes before I pulled the trigger on the non ad option anyway. I just would have liked to have know that when he announced pricing.

Common Sense September 7, 2012 um 11:00 pm

Doesn’t bother me. I have a Kindle Keyboard with special offers and I barely notice them. Who sits and stares at their device when it’s turned off? As for the homepage, do you look at that longer than it takes to open content or go to some other area?

It’s a good idea to bring devices to a population that can’t afford pricey iToys.

sarahsassy1980 March 22, 2013 um 9:31 am

how do i delete the ads on my lock screen?

Nate Hoffelder March 22, 2013 um 9:37 am


fjtorres March 22, 2013 um 10:03 am

I’m not finding the ads an issue at all.
They even provide some nice unintentional humor, like highlighting 7Eleven’s ongoing contest with a grand prize of a free Cruise for on Royal Caribbean.
Makes you wonder if the second prize is *two* free cruises on RC ships. 😀

Nate Hoffelder March 22, 2013 um 10:04 am


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