Amazon introduced a new line of Kindle Fire tablets today, with starting prices ranging from $159 to $499. But there’s a slight catch.

Those are the prices for tablets with “special offers.”

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9

Amazon has been using advertising to subsidize the price of its E Ink Kindle eBook readers since last year. But this is the first time the company is bringing ads tot he lock screen of its color Android-based tablets.

Since the ads will only show up on the lock screen, you’ll only see them when you tap the power button on your device. Once you slide to unlock, they’ll go away.

I’ve been using a Kindle Touch eReader with special offers for a while, and I don’t find them particularly offensive. In fact, I’ve found a few coupons I’ve actually used. But I suspect some folks may feel differently.

What do you think? Are you OK with ads on the lock screen if it means a starting price of $159? Or would you rather pay extra to have an ad-free experience?

Amazon will soon offer a way for customers that prefer an ad-less lock screen to pay to remove the ads.

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11 replies on “Amazon’s new tablets feature “special offers” ads on the home screen”

  1. I think the big issue is that amazon didn’t make it clear – as shown by all the comments.

  2. I cannot find anything anywhere that says there are ads. It is not on Amazon’s page (or an option to buy without ads.) I think you might be wrong about the ads.

    Especially since the paperwhite don’t have ads. I think Amazon is moving out of the ad supported business. They have not had new ads on my Kindle 4 for months.

  3. I think your facts are wrong. In fact I think you are completely wrong about the ads.

      1. You are right. It is in the press release and on the page. I have seen reported on CNet and others that the special offers are dead because they had not seen them on the kindle fire.

      2. Where on the Amazon page does it mention special ads? And there is only one price for each product. I have seen nothing on the Amazon page. What is the exact quote?

  4. I agree — the ads on my Kindle Touch are so unobtrusive that I frequently have no idea what’s being advertised to me. I typically push the power button without looking at the ad on the screen, and even when I stop to look, it’s typically just for a couple of seconds before moving on.

    It will be interesting to see just how locked down the new Kindle tablets will be though. If they’re selling at a discount because of the advertising revenue, it isn’t in their interest to provide a way to unlock the boot loader. Maybe it won’t matter, but remember, the Blackberry tablet boot loader has never been successfully hacked, in spire of its cheap price and wide availability.

    1. I wouldn’t worry about comparison to the Playbook, RIM pushes Enterprise level security. So it’s a lot harder to hack them than other brands.

      Mind also that Amazon is still using TI OMAP, like the first Kindle Fire and that was hacked pretty fast.

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