All new Kindle Fire tablets are ad-supported

Amazon announced a boatload of new members of the Kindle Fire tablet family earlier today at a press conference in Santa Monica. However, when the company's CEO Jeff Bezos was showing off the Android-based tablets to the assembled members of the press, he apparently forgot to inform them of one major "feature".

As revealed in Amazon's new press release, all of the new members of the Kindle Fire lineup, including the $499 Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE support, will included mandatory ads on the product's lock screen. While Amazon has sold versions of its Kindle eReaders with the option to either buy ad or ad-free devices, the original 2011 Kindle Fire did not have these ads at all.

In the press release, Amazon said:

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 Amazon.com Gift Card when a customer uses their Discover card to purchase a digital product on Amazon.

The company is currently not offering consumers a way to turn off these "special offers" if they don't want to have their lock screen cluttered with an AT&T ad.

Source: Amazon press release | Image via Amazon

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21 Comments

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The normal Kindle has, for a very long time, had an ad supported version. If it's only on the lock screen, I don't see what the big deal is.

I love how everyone is claiming the end of the world here. Its one and on the LOCK SCREEN. How often do you guys stare at the lock screen? This is almost a non issue. Nobody outside of the tech world will actually care.

I understand their thinking, can you imaging the ad rates they'll get from advertisers...Bezos already looks like Dr. Evil, I think we know what his answer will be while his pinky points to the corner of his mouth :-)

Its only on the lock screen. It not a big deal to me, kind of like the ads Steam throws up at me after exiting a game sometimes. The ads wont shop up during normal usage of the device just like Steam ads dont show up during games, browsing the game store, or community.

Well **** that big time! Amazon Kindle business implosion in 3,2,1... BOOM!

I can see the RMA rate for these skyrocket, especially when people start seeing AT&T ads on their lock screen LOL!

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being. I hate the idea but so far my Amazon "experience" is tolerable to excellent. This will definitely factor into my buying decision though. Actually the ONLY real attraction is that my GF can use my Prime account to watch TV...hmm, then all those ads will make her want to spend my money...nope, I'm definitely out!

Unbelievable.

Thanks Amazon. There's not a single hope in hell I'll go anywhere near one of these now. I wouldn't mind if Amazon were some small, fledgling company making a great cut price product and having to use advertising as some way to bring in revenue and bring in the numbers. But for a company this big to use this kind of tactic turns me so far off.

Chicane-UK said,
Unbelievable.

Thanks Amazon. There's not a single hope in hell I'll go anywhere near one of these now. I wouldn't mind if Amazon were some small, fledgling company making a great cut price product and having to use advertising as some way to bring in revenue and bring in the numbers. But for a company this big to use this kind of tactic turns me so far off.

most inexpensive tablet on the market with really good specs, will be available in the UK and you choose to whine about a non intrusive ad on the lockscreen? Why dont you go overpay for a iPad since its probably what you were going to to all along.

I haven't got an iPad. I have no interest in iPad. No real interest in tablets to be honest but was considering a Nexus Tablet.

I choose to "whine" about it because it's this continual encroachment of advertising in everything we do. It's on the lock screen now and once everyone is used to that, there'll be 10% of the screen set aside for advertising. And on it goes.

I don't want it. I'd rather pay a little more to not have it. If you're happy with it then great - I'm very happy for you. You can make your point or share your opinion without sounding like a condescending know-all (and being completely wrong!)

Meh, I don't think I'm a fan of the "pay to use a device" business model. I'd rather buy a version (even if it's a few $ more) and not be hindered by ads!

As long as they're ad's for content you can use on the device I don't really care. The ad's are only on the lock screen so they don't hinder much, and in the end it's basically just a news feed Plus, if it lets me save money without interfering with my device usage, I'm good.

... well, I'd be good if I didn't live in the UK and therefore am unable to actually buy the device and use it's supported services. But the Amazon Appstore is *just* opening in the UK now, so there's hope it's coming soon!