Amazon turns to ads to shave $15 off the price of Kindle Fire HD tablets

Summary:It's worth $15 to Amazon to be able to use the Kindle Fire HD to pipe "special offers and sponsored screensavers" - ads in other words - to owners. However, if you don't like them, you can remove them, for a price.

While Amazon was coy about mentioning it at last week's press event, the book giant has turned to adverts to shave a few dollars off the price of the Kindle Fire HD tablets.

The new Kindle Fire HD tablets will show ads in two different locations. Ads are displayed on the lock screen when the device is not in use, and more ads will be displayed in small text at the bottom of the home page.

The ads, which Amazon cleverly call "special offers and sponsored screensavers," will be used to pipe deals on digital content and consumer electronics to owners, as well as movie posters, music covers, and book covers for upcoming titles.

While most people are unlikely to find these ads intrusive, they will undoubtedly annoy some people. Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, is one of these people:

"I bought ad-supported Kindles for every member of the family last holidays and none of them were comfortable with it," writes Moorhead. "I didn’t think I would mind it but I did. The odd part is that my family members were annoyed that everyone else could see the ad and that it didn't feel personal".

Moorhead goes on to say that, "Amazon should at least give an option to pay to make the ads go away".

Fortunately for people who don't like these ads, Amazon does just that. The company has confirmed that owners will be able to opt out of these special offers by clicking a link in the "Manage Your Kindle" page and paying Amazon an extra $15. Also, ad-free versions of the Kindle Fire HD hardware will be made available shortly.

Kindle hardware incorporating "Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers" is only available in the U.S. Other territories will pay full price for the hardware.

Image source: Amazon.

Topics: Amazon, Android, Hardware, Tablets

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Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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