I previously mentioned that I had placed an order for the Special Offers Kindle. I have now been playing with it on and off for a week and have to say that it's a solid experience.
If you're not familiar with the Special Offers Kindle, Amazon released a cheaper Kindle that offers the same user experience, with the addition of advertising. Thankfully, the advertising doesn't get in the way of the experience, too much, and in some cases I've actually welcomed it. For example, you can read a book that you downloaded without having to see any advertising, but when you go into the menu, you see a small advertisement on the bottom of the page (see below). You are also treated to ads when you put the Kindle in standby, and you can jump to all available ads and "special offers" by accessing a new page thru the menu system.
The "special offers" page is actually the one that I welcome. As you can see from the picture below, the first offer was a $20 Amazon gift card for $10. I, of course, clicked to take advantage of that one. I have since been treated to an offer for an album on the Amazon MP3 store for just $1.
What has surprised me so far, though, is the lack of targeted ads. I would have expected Amazon to deliver relevant ads to me, based on the fact that I'm a prime member and based on my purchasing habits. I know that they possess the ability to deliver targeted advertising so perhaps they're holding off to avoid any fallout that may come from it at this stage of release.
So far I'm a big fan of the Special Offers Kindle. I initially was hoping for an even cheaper strike price, but with the special offers actually delivering value, I think it has already almost paid for itself.
As for the Groupon reference in the title of this article, I think that if Amazon truly taps into what it knows about its customer and delivers targeted ads and "impulse buy" type ads, the Special Offers Kindle and all Kindles, for that matter, will be an amazing new conduit for Amazon to offer up Groupon-like deals to its customers.