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Entirety of Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Lineup Is Ad-Supported (Update)

As more hands-on time is being spent with the newest Android-powered Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon, we’re learning much more about how Amazon is able to sell the hardware for so cheap. The newest piece of info we’ve learned, whether you think is good or bad, is that all three of the new Kindle Fires (Fire, HD7, HD8.9) will be ad-supported. Much like on the older e-reader from last year, Amazon will display “special offers” on the lockscreen of the device while it is not in use. 

Although the idea of ads being on a device you paid for may seem a tad ridiculous, keep in mind that Amazon is selling these tablets at an extremely low price point. It’s reported that the ads won’t be very intrusive or spammy. More than likely, they will range from sales on books and movies or other content that Amazon offers.

Note: According to a response from Amazon’s customer support team, Engadget was able to snag the following tidbit, ensuring us that there will be a future announcement explaining how to opt out of the offers. Excellent.

“Special Offers appear directly on your Kindle Fire. Offers appear on your lock screen, and you can also view offers from the Home screen by tapping Offers. By delivering these offers to your Kindle Fire, Amazon is able to sell it for a lower price.

“I understand that you would like to opt out of the special offer and willing to pay extra for opting out special offer. Options for unsubscribing special offer will be announced soon.

“To ensure the utmost attention, I’ve also passed your message on to the appropriate people in our company. We value customer feedback such as yours as it helps us continue to improve the service and selection we provide.”

Update 2: According to new reports out of CNET, Amazon has confirmed that the sponsored ads are there to stay and are non-removable. End of story. Sorry, folks.

You okay with the idea of an ad-supported device?

Via: The Verge

  • yarian

    The claim that offers are non-removable is a lie.

    From the Amazon website:

    “If you would like to opt out of these special offers, you can do so
    through Manage Your Kindle for $15 after you have registered your

    To get to the above, go on the Kindle Fire HD product page at amazon.com:

    Includes special offers and sponsored screensavers.

    Learn more

    Click learn more.

    • yarian

      Seems like originally an Amazon spokesperson said they would not be removable. CNET article rectified the claim. This article should too.

  • Android Central is saying that they got word from Ars Technica that the ads can be removed for $15!

  • Martin Nilsson

    Well many phones and computers as well comes with a lot of pre-loaded content (“bloat ware” and as the Kindle is more of a system/ecosystem then a single device, having “dynamic” bloat ware isn’t all that much of a surprise. An option would be nice, buy it cheap with adds or more expensive without it, but the Kindle without it’s Amazon (ad supported) system wouldn’t be much of a device.

    Google could pull it of though, sell the Nexus tablet cheap for customers and include ads to regain some revenue or sell it as a developer tablet, without the Play ecosystem, with a slightly higher prize.

  • I didn’t have any intentions of buying one of these anyway (love my Nexus 7), but this seals the deal for me.

    Amazon’s strategy should be to make money off the content that they sell, and that should allow them to subsidize the cost of the tablet. I have no interest whatsoever in buying a device that has perma-ads on it.

  • Will

    Nope. Unless I can hack the ads off it quickly and without sacrificing stability, there’s no way in hell I’m buying an ad-supported device.

  • 4n1m4L

    Pfft fff-fffttt

  • moelsen8
  • Zach Armstrong

    No way I would pay $200 for the tablet and have ads displayed on the lock screen. If I’m paying for it I want it ad free.

  • shooter50

    wahhhhhh, let the wailing begin. The something for nothing crowd always finds something to complain about.

  • qb14

    I’ve got no problem with ads on the lock screen. I currently have an “old school” Kindle. The lock screen typically has a picture of an author on it. If seeing a picture of an ad, instead of a picture of an author allowed me to pay less for my Kindle, I absolutely would have bought the ad-supported version.
    Worst case scenario, I would see an ad that I don’t care about seeing, rather than a picture of an author that I don’t care about seeing.

    Best case, they would present me with an ad for an item that I can use at a price that I’m willing to spend.

  • My Kindle Touch is ad supported, and I hardly even notice the ads are there. They only show up when the device is turned off, and maybe occasionally in a small banner at the bottom when I’m on the menu screen. Never while reading. While I’m sure it will be a little different on a Fire because it’s more than just an e-reader, I think Amazon knows how to do it right.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    I would not want ad supported there any more than I like to see the lame image based ads here…

  • joe23521

    I have no issue with ad-supported devices provided that the price point is significantly low and that the ads are never intrusive.

  • PhillipCun

    This is a very dark path I am seeing. Yeah sure you can start opting out now, but thinking about the future we’ll start seeing ads in everything we use and everything that has a screen. This is getting a little scary

    • RW-1

      I know both sides, but let me take my take on Pandora – the app added ads and I left. The reason given was that “They needed to pay the bills” … Not. They were not breaking even or losing money this year but posted a profit. So to me, that’s a piss porr excuse, especially when they have $$$ coming in from the PC / MAC ads from desktop users. It is pure greed, and out of control.
      Sure, they need to make $$$, but mobile ads are not the way.

      • Charles Rogers

        You could just pay for the Pandora service that costs, that has no ads.

        But that too, is too much to ask, Right?

  • JoshGroff

    If it’s only on the lock screen and an “offers” home screen link, I don’t think most people would care. It’s certainly less intrusive than G-mail ads.

  • Jason James

    they did mention it in the keynote like when he was doing the skylanders demo and when he lost the level a offer came up to buy a toy

    • I’m willing to bet that is just what was in the app and not part of their ad scheme, it’s the main hitch behind Skylanders in the first place.

  • nightscout13

    a little somethin’ somethin’ they left out of the keynote?

  • Let’s see how easy it is to hack the ads first. It took me a grand total of 14 seconds to remove the ads from my Kindle touch, and I put very little effort into it.

  • bedwa

    Only have one response. Hi ho root away!

  • for the cheap models ok, I can see this – but what about for the 499 4G tablet? pay all that for ads or pay more to lose them? might as well just buy an ipad or hold out for the larger Nexus tablet – and thats exactly what I’m doing.

    If I want special offers I’ll sign up for Google alerts or I’ll just check Slickdeals.

    • tvjrc603

      Speaking of, what if you have the 4G tablet and aren’t on WiFi? Are the ads streaming – and thus going to take up what small amount of data you have?

  • br_hermon

    That’s p*ss poor (initial) customer relations right there. The response Engadget got was commendable but to mislead their customers right off the bat by way of omission, that is just sad and shady business practice.

    *There’s more sides to the argument here that I have in mind but I don’t have the time to get into them. Meh…

    • agreed, not even mentioning it when they used it as a way to sell cheaper kindles in the past is horrible – they knew it wouldn’t go over well and as expected, it’s not.

  • enob

    Having an ad-supported device wouldn’t bother me at all, especially if it is driving the cost of the product down. At a time where technology is moving so fast, I don’t want to pay a lot for anything because it is outdated so fast.

    • enob

      Especially if they are non-obtrusive ads. They are on the lock screen. That’s when you are done using your phone/tablet. Using my n7 as an example. It goes to the lock screen when I put the leather cover over the screen. Honestly, I would never even see the ads.

    • enob

      Just another side note, my kindle is one of the ad-supported ones and the ads are actually good. I get coupon codes for free music, and discounts on store items. Not to mention the $50 for signing up for their credit card instead of $30.

  • Droid4LifeDawg

    The only way to opt out is to pay an additional $30,

  • richardsonadm

    At that price who cares about ads, CM9/10?

  • Root -> Custom ROM -> Profit

    • fixxmyhead

      nexus 7 no root-> already has JB-> no profit

      why dont u just get one it already has JB and u dont have to wait like a couple weeks for a buggy build or months for a beta. is the tiny edge in hardware worth it?

      • JoshGroff

        That tiny edge won’t be much when you take the extra skinning into account.

      • Yeah, I would buy a Nexus 7 way before one of these. I was just thinking that the 8.9″ high resolution one would be a great deal if you were able to get it to stock Android. For the smaller one, there would be no point.

  • Detonation

    Root. Flash AOSP Rom. Problem Solved.

    • fixxmyhead

      i think u mean root. flash buggy build. wait couple months for beta.problem still not solved.

      why dont u just get a nexus 7 it ALREADY has the latest version and will always get updates.

  • Bionicman

    sure Amazon, put ads on the things. but either give me free Amazon Prime, or reduce the price. otherwise Nexus 7 here I come pfffffft

    • JoshGroff

      Just get the Nexus 7, you won’t regret it.

  • shopdroid

    Let’s add up all the reasons why these new kindles will be a flop – laggy, late (best ones won’t be available until way after ipad mini is out), and now this… If Google can release a N* with microSD and hdmi, none of these tablets would even matter. Sigh…

  • I love how someone immediately rushed in and downvoted the first 30 comments for no reason.
    This new system is ridiculous. Rather than “good job” and “spam/abuse” we now have “good job” “lulz” and “spam/abuse.”

    I know this post will be down-voted 1,000 times too, but that’s part of the principle.
    You think of something to say and are immediately shot down by anonymous ******** without rhyme or reason.

  • Answer2K1

    Personally, I don’t care about the ads on the Fire2 and the Paperwhite, I’m only buying them as gifts and the people I’m buying them for aren’t Android-savvy enough to care, they just want them to read, surf the web, use AIV, and play Angry Birds.

  • Kevin Guinn

    Was thinking of snagging one until I saw the note on their product page that there are special offers. I would never spend $200+ for anything that has advertisements.

    • Angryunibrow

      Have you ever been to a live sporting event? Do you pay for cable? Should I go on….

      • Sigmonster

        I was about to say the same thing…It escapes my why cable companies still charge ungodly amounts of money for a service that it 25-30% ads. This is precisely why I used OTA broadcast. I have much better things to do and spend my money on.

  • Absolutely NOT, and so kills the Kindle Fire line.

  • Butters619

    Well f**k that noise.

  • RW-1

    Your initial response telling us to keep in mind that they are selling them at a low price point is ridiculous.
    Are they informing the buyer’s of this “feature” ? I think not.
    Will that be listed on the feature set / specs of the webpage for the device? I think not.
    I’m with CRH45, an ad is an AD … it’s gotten completely out of hand on mobile devices, now basically we’re being told that now we can get it on the cheap if we accept this.
    Price it accordingly, and you still toss ads out to people as well, just not on their lockscreens … hmmm … sounds like the same scam to pay for a dev device which has exactly no HW difference then the subsidy devices, because a carrier can’t be bothered.
    If I got one it would be hacked to get rid of it, but many out there while not Android enthusists, will still know that this is just wrong.
    Lastly, not only batt drain, but those ads are eating your data plan if you are paying for one, ad data shouldn’t count against it if it is being foisted upon your devoce.

    • No big deal

      Actually, they do list the special offer ads on their webpage. I own an ad supported Kindle now. Basically, if I don’t want to pay attention to the ad when I pick it up I don’t. The ads are not displayed when you are using the Kindle only as a screen saver. No big deal.

      • RW-1

        so it says you will be given ads?
        Ok, but this like someone mentioned above is a dark path to start going down.
        Get device, pay to remove ads, pay to get an unlocked BL, that’s just crap, though my point withthe ads is that I want to see it stated on the site about ads in the lockscreen, etc. And paying to get out … how much? 1St reaction of most will be that the tab should have been sold for price+unlock point….

        • indianafanatic

          RW-1, just look at the Amazon listings for these Fires and you will see the mention of ad-support. They aren’t trying to pull a bait-and-switch; they just don’t want to use that as their #1 selling point.
          If you don’t want to buy it, don’t. Someone will be right along to buy the one you don’t want.

  • moelsen8

    i think this is going to come back to bite amazon. i for one would be pissed if i bought one of these not knowing that. it’s my device, not a billboard.

    • Charles Rogers

      I guess the good thing is that no one has one yet.

  • Ryan Frankenstein

    total Deal Breaker

  • bob

    Engadget is reporting ads will be removable for a fee.

    • Daniel Clifford

      At additional cost I wonder…….

  • Daniel Clifford

    Another reason I personally believe that the Nexus 7 is an overall better product. Just my opinion.

    • EvanTheGamer


    • noc007

      The only thing that has me interested in one of the Fires over the N7 is 5GHz Wifi. If the N7 had a dualband radio, I would probably order one. I’ll wait and see if the community can get CM9 or CM10 fully working on one of the new Fires before I consider pulling the trigger.

      For those that are wondering, I only have a 5GHz WAP. Even if I spent the money, people in my complex have the 2.4GHz flooded

      • enob

        On every channel?

      • snowblind64

        5GHz only? Hmmm, that’s new to me, most WiFi routers I’ve seen these days have both 2.4 and 5GHz. What model is your WiFi router? And as Gr8Ray mentioned you can use WiFi analyzer to find the best channel (2.4 or 5GHz).

        • noc007

          In my post I said I only had a 5GHz WAP. 😉 I don’t have a WiFi capable router. I have Comcrap Business for my ISP and they issue a router/modem POS from SMC; I’d like to get my own modem and put a pfSense box as a router.

          My WAP is a Netgear WNHDE111, which is 5GHz only. The 5GHz band is quite clear with only one other WAP on another non-overlapping channel. The 2.4GHz band is crowded with overlaps all over the place; it’s practically a worst case scenario. I should take a screencap of my inSSIDer scan; it’ll make you weep.

    • Gr8Ray

      I dunno, there are some Pros to the new Kindle Fire HD vs. the Nexus 7. I was pretty surprised when I discovered I couldn’t connect mine to my 5ghz wifi network… And an HDMI port would have been nice, and the speakers are pretty weak… Not deal breakers, and there are workarounds for some of the issues, but they shouldn’t be discounted entirely. If I can hack a Kindle Fire HD and run a custom ROM on it, it’s pretty much the winner at that point, since most of the issues I have with it are with the software.

      • Daniel Clifford

        I can agree with pretty much everything you brought up. Assuming that the developer community gets custom ROMS on board I can see this being the winner. I do miss the HDMI as well, however the speakers I am fairly pleased with. The one glaring factor in my mind is that the Nexus is a Google Device that will (in theory) be one of the most up to date and clean software tablets available.

        • Gr8Ray

          My main issue with the speakers is that when I’m watching a movie in landscape orientation, all the sound comes out the right side. I’m kind of used to that with my Galaxy Nexus, but it would have been nice to have speakers at both ends (which it sounds like the Kindle Fire HD has).

    • PhillipCun

      Nexus is a great device because it is a Nexus… People love Nexus for the pure Google experience and the price and specs are unbeatable. The Kindle Fire is great too, I think its better for those who aren’t tech savvy. Both are great devices at unbeatable prices and they are good for the type of consumer they are built for. I don’t think one is better than the other in this situation because they’re both great just built for different types of consumers.

  • New_Guy

    I’d much rather pay the full price…

  • Wont bother me, if i can tolerate some the games apps like hanging with friends that throw up a freaking add everytime i do a turn, i can live with this…

  • Captain_Doug

    No wonder they can price them so low. If they have ads going on all of them, that’s a lot of money coming through.

  • PAJ

    You pay for cable/satellite TV and watch the adds. Every sporting event you go to there are adds even though you paid to attend. In reality it’s almost normal to have advertising. The key is how intrusive it its. Look to the right as you post your comments!

    • I’m looking to the right and not seeing a darn thing 🙂

  • The good thing about kindles has always been the e-ink display. Who wants to have a long reading session on an LCD? Without that, these are just crappy tablets with decent specs and a horrible interface.

    • Charles Rogers

      They still have the black and white kindles. Are you happy now?

  • Hunter

    Ad Blocker 🙂

  • Keith0606

    Personally ehh if it’s unobtrusive (like it sounds it’s probably fine) though if given the choice i’d pay more to avoid it. That said I’m passing on all of these more for the fact that they butcher all that is good about the android ui (jelly bean) and android itself by putting you into their own walled garden ( just like apple).

  • justincase_2008

    My gf has the Ad supported Kindle touch and i didnt even notice them till she pointed them out. Most all of them are about books or movies coming out. So its not bad at all.

  • Me

    Not really… I would want to look into getting a custom ROM of some sort on there before I laid down the cash. But if I was going to do that, I might as well get a N7

  • voterfraud

    The only way I would EVER pay for the “privilege” of looking at advertising every time I picked up a device that I payed ANY amount of money for is if it had an unlocked (or hackable) bootloader so I could get rid of them immediately after opening the box…

    • noc007

      Don’t know if the bootloader is locked or not, but one can get CM10 on to the original Kindle FIre:

  • CRH45

    No. at the end of the day, an ad is still an ad.

  • Q: What’s the difference between a tablet with an ad on the lockscreen that reduces the consumer cost and a wireless provider subsidy reducing the consumer cost of a cell phone?
    A: A bill that runs around $100/month or more with a two year contract that can’t be broken without a hefty termination fee.
    If I was in the market for a new tablet I don’t think an ad on the lockscreen would prevent me from buying it, but I’m sure I’m not the first to think that the Nexus 7 is looking like the winner in this fight.

  • John

    Anyone get an answer on the bootloaders on these devices?

  • duke69111

    “You okay with the idea of an ad-supported device?”

    No I am not, but at these prices I can live with them.

    • thajack

      You could always pay the same price for a Nexus 7 and live without them.

  • nwd1911

    My first thought is battery drain. I don’t care if they shove ads in my face, google does plenty of that, but at the cost of battery life I’m not a fan. I hope these tablets have the same developer community as the original KF.

  • wiz

    I somewhat wish they had ad/no ad versions as before, but I understand why they did not want to go that route (way too many choices to confuse customers). No issues here with ads.

  • Jroc869, Cool story bro

    If this works out I coulld see them trying it with tv. Instead of breaking for X amount of commercials, they could have ad pop ups on the screen during the show since tons of people just dvr things. I know I wouldnt be happy if my tablet had ads though. Nexus 7 FTW

  • stupidllama

    meh, im ok with the IDEA of it, but would i buy one…no.

    • michael arazan

      Google makes all their money on ads and didn’t do it to the N7. Granted amazon has a couple more features but could of offered an ad less version, didn’t hear about that at the PR event did we? Maybe Amazon should sell these in Hawaii, I know they love SPAM out there.

  • it probably doesn’t matter because most of us are going to root and rom it anyway

  • Given the very low prices, it’s not the worst trade. I’d prefer to continue to choose between an ad-supported model and a “clean” one, but I imagine it’s easier to sell ad space when the number of eyeballs is more predictable.

    • thajack

      Crazy how Nexus 7 can be at the same price point without ads.