Apr 112011

Advertisements on the Kindle

Today Amazon announced that you can get the normally-$139 Kindle 3 Wi-Fi for just $114 … but there’s a catch. The catch is advertising: screensavers and ads at the bottom of the home screen. You can find the deal (with free shipping) at Amazon here:

Kindle 3 Wi-Fi With “Special Offers” for $114

Now, getting a Kindle 3 for $139 is already a great deal for the best e-reader out there, in my opinion. So getting one for $114 is even better. But is it worth saving $25 to have to deal with advertisements? For as long as you own it? (Note, you can still get the Kindle 3 Wi-Fi for $139 and Kindle 3 Wi-Fi + 3G for $189.)

On the one hand, the included screensavers are nothing to write home about anyway — mostly a rotating selection of dead authors — and some of the ad screensavers might not be so bad.

But what would annoy me are the ad banners that show up on the bottom of the home screen (see the lower left photo). I use my Kindle enough that I’d probably pay the extra $25 to avoid seeing those and losing that screen real estate. But they might not bother you, and saving $25 is nothing to scoff at. And Amazon assures us the ads do not show up while reading books.

Also, Amazon says that it will tailor the ads to readers’ needs, and offer great deals and other things that you might actually want to see. From Amazon’s description:

New, Lower Price

When you buy Kindle with Special Offers, you are getting the same bestselling Kindle for $25 less—only $114. Special offers and sponsored screensavers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen—they don’t interrupt reading.

Special Offers

You’ll receive special offers directly on your Kindle. Examples include:

  • $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
  • $6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
  • $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
  • $10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop

I mean, a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 is a great deal, one that would be of interest to most Kindle owners. And getting notifications of legitimately good deals might even be a good thing. But not all the ads will be great deals (even the example ones in the photos are just Visa ads).

My gut instinct is that $99 would have been a more fair price for this ad-supported version.

What do you think? Is it a great way to save $25? Are the ads an abomination? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

The $114 “Kindle 3 Wi-Fi With Special Offers” (meaning “ads”) is available for pre-order from Amazon now, and is scheduled to ship on May 3.

9 Responses to “New Kindle for $114 (The Catch? Ads.)”

Comments (9)
  1. I’m not into this at all. I think this will turn off people who won’t even understand that they have an option to buy it without ads. This waters down the brand and makes Amazon look desperate. Plus the concept of seeing ads on my pristine, beautiful kindle is just gross.

    • Always Write says:

      I tend to agree, my gut tells me I don’t really like the move (and I wouldn’t allow ads on my Kindle for $25), even while the frugal side of me says that some people might appreciate the lower price and it will bring more people into the e-reading fold. But what good is that if people have a negative experience due to the ads?

      Also, good call on people maybe not knowing they have an option — I edited the post to make it clear that you can still get non-ad-supported Kindles.

  2. RJ says:

    Thanks . that was helpful !

    • Always Write says:

      You’re quite welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful. Thanks for leaving a comment — it lets me know that the time I spend blogging is useful.

  3. bac24 says:

    saving 25$ is great. especially when tight on money…. i will be going with the cheaper 114$ kindle (: …i don’t think that the ads will bother me too badly (:

    • Always Write says:

      If the ads don’t bother you, then it’s a great deal. I’ve also heard about several good “special offers” (available only to owners of the “Special Offers” Kindle versions), such as $10 for a $20 Amazon gift card, or a $10 Amazon gift card if you buy one of a list of books (some of which only cost $5).

      Please feel free to come back and let us know your experiences if you end up buying one!

  4. bac24 says:

    I’ll be sure to do that!

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