back to article Amazon splatters ads to cut Kindle price

Amazon is offering an advertising-subsidised version of its flagship Kindle, putting adverts on the idle screen and main menu in exchange for a $25 discount on the hardware. The company is making much of the fact that the adverts will link to special deals and money-off vouchers, but they're still adverts that will hang around …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down

    anyone who can afford a kindle

    can afford the $25 extra. I don't mind adverts in free applications because I'm just trying them out but as soon as it becomes a permanent addition to my collection I pay to get rid of them.

    A one off cost reduction for ads that last the remainder of your kindles life is a bad trade.

    1. James Hughes 1

      To you

      But to others it might be fine.

      If the adverts stay on the 'screensaver' then is a big non-issue to me. Adverts get put on display when you put the Kindle down. Goes away when you pick it up. (assuming correctly usage of the on/off button)

      My only concern is long term, should I expect adverts on my normal 3G Kindle? So far, it seems unlikely. Lets hope it stays that way. In the meantime, I have a ebook reader, doznes of free books, and free webaccess. I'm happy. I've been impressed with the Kindle, more so than most other tech gadgets I've tried.

  2. Mark C Casey

    This reminds me of wipeout hd

    This reminds me of wipeout hd on the ps3, when bought through psn you got just a racing game. However, Sony made an update that retroactively added video ads (that also significantly increased loading time) whenever you wanted to play a game.

    Of course, if you wanted to play online you have to accept the playing of the video ads because otherwise it'd mean being stuck on an old version that Sony won't let you play multiplayer with.

    I wonder if Amazon are pondering something similar with a future kindle update, start putting text/image ads in purchased books etc. That'd be a sure fire way to increase ebook piracy.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Dear Amazon

    I won't be buying one even without the discount. Thats for sure. I'm already bombarded with far too many adverts.

    It will only be a matter of time before you turn the ads on permanantly.

    If you do that I forsee people hacking their kindles just to remove the ads.

    Mines the one with a dead tree copy of War & Peace in the pocket.

    1. Russell Howe


      What about starting to put text/image ads on all books which were not purchased via Amazon?

      They have control of the device - they can do whatever they wish.

  4. Tom_

    Web 2.0

    Sounds more like web 1.0 if it just delivers adverts.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    THE title

    So - how long until someone hacks it to remove the ads?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Agreed, bad idea

    A better one might be more like software, you can get a cheaper (or free) version of a >book< with adverts every few pages and 'upgrade' the book later if it starts annoying you

  7. rcdicky
    Thumb Up

    I honestly don't think it'll make any difference

    to the end user at least. Would it really bother people that much?

    Considering the vast majority of the time, you're going to be reading books so won't see the ads much

    If they popped up randomly while flicking through pages or made it take longer to fire up a book, I'd say it was a bad idea. As it is, it's a way for Amazon to make a bit more money, and a way for the end user to save money (who doesn't like saving money, despite it already being quite cheap to buy?)

  8. Kevin 43

    Can I...

    Pay extra to change the existing "screensavers" ... Philistine that I am I don't know who any of these people are!

    I don't know why they arn't user configurable... oh wait...the penny's dropped...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought the initial idea would be mildly annoying...

      ...but your suggestion would really, *really* hack me off. Adverts every x page turns? Really?

      I can only equate that to picking a DVD off the shelf but then seeing that the same film is on some commercial TV channel so watching it on that instead. Why would you do that? So at your chosen favourite bit of the film you know there's a chance you'll be given the opportunity to learn about local double-glazing deals and cleaning products?


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The adverts mean you can have the book cheaper, or pay full price without the ads.

        Your analogy does not appear to correlate with what I am saying. That would be akin to saying 'I already own the book but now I'm going to buy another one with adverts'


    2. laird cummings

      Probably already done and waiting

      It's already ridiculously simple to turn a high-end Kindle into low-end tablet, so I've no doubt that the ad-killers are already locked, loaded, and ready to fire.

    3. TelePom


      There's a hack around that allows you to do this - it sets up a folder that you can dump your own images into. Google it - it was fairly easy to implement, IIRC.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Web 2.0?

    Do I REALLY look that dumb?

  10. Martin 47

    and thats the real problem

    even if (and I am getting tempted) I buy a kindle I will end up owning something that someone else can alter whenever they want too.

    Think I will stick to proper books thanks

  11. Alan 6

    why the fear of ads?

    Really, what's the problem?

    I use Gmail, there's apparently ads at the top of the screen, and down the side, but I don't notice them.

    If the ad is on the standby screen then what's the big deal? when the unit is in standby you're not using it.

    On the menu screen an ad doesn't matter, you navigate the menu and ignore the ad.

    Do you people not buy newspapers & magazines, or watch TV, or walk round town, or go to the pictures - really, just take a chill pill and relax, they're only suggesting things you might like to buy, you don't have to hand over any cash unless you actually buy the goods...

    1. JeepBoy

      I Don't Fear The Ads... BUT

      I doubt very much that people fear the Ads... they fear the intentions of Amazon and suspect that this is merely the thin end of the wedge.

      As the article says, Amazon's dystopian vision for the Kindle as some kind of portal to a hyper-linked book full of embedded "we thought you might also be interested in" and "J.Smegins thinks this is a great bit of prose" links isn't a vision that is shared by all of the Kindle owners that I know, or I suspect most Kindle owners that I don't know!

      We just want to read the book thanks. Like many others, I prefer to do this reading on the Kindle for its convenience and sheer portability (100's of books and never gets any heavier).

      Adverts and Links won't improve the user experience of the Kindle as an e-reader in any way. Once this facilty is added to the Kindle software, wait and see how soon it becomes compulsory to receive Ads everytime you download another book, and how soon those Ads will move off the idle screen and start to invade the book text.

    2. Code Monkey

      Reading email != reading books

      Your answer doesn't give any indication that you read books. I don't say that to insult you, just wondering if your experiences of reading and mine are the same.

      When I read a book for pleasure (or for work for that matter) I want to completely switch off from the outside world. That means no telly, no phone, no radio and certainly no adverts or user generated crap in *my* book.

      Get this right Amazon. I'm tempted by the Kindle but will be easily put off.

    3. Fluffykins Silver badge

      It's not the ads. It's what's at the other end.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Royalties for Authors?

    I think there's a stakeholder that's being overlooked here.

    What royalty are Amazon paying the book authors as part of this ad funded 'service'?

    What do they get out of this commercial exploitation of their literary works?

  13. Chris Sanderson

    Not a problem for me

    I like a few others here can't really see the problem.

    If as stated the adverts remain on the idle screen or the menu it wouldn't bother me, though at only $25 saving I'd still pay that little bit extra not to bother.

    It is mere speculation that Amazon might introduce ads into the actual books or that full paying kindle users will ever see any kind of ad.

    So on this news, if you don't mind a few ad's and want to save a bit of money then thats your choice. As for the kindle, I love mine. I don't know why, but I find I read a lot more now. Though that is probably the convenience of when I'm bored being able to shop direct from my kindle and buy another with one click. To me though that is just a good sensible money making business model from Amazon.

    Actually if the ad's where for books with a mini review based on my previous reading habits with one click buy, I'd maybe even be tempted as an easy way to get notified on new releases etc.

  14. Bram

    There is a choice

    The kindle is the same price as always. If you want a cheaper one you get adverts simples?!?!?

    Why would you stop getting a product that hasnt changed n anyway? if you don't want the £25 off and adverts dont get it get the normal version.

    I own the Wi-Fi version and I am pretty sorted if they try some advert update crap I'l just turn off the wi-fi and buy books in advance from my pc and drag and drop them the old fashinoned way. Its still a lot simpler then talking to teenage sales assistants in waterstones

  15. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "The addition of adverts...

    "...brings the price of a Kindle down to $114, a shade over £70, though it will be US-only for a while"

    That obviously explains why there was an advert on the back of one of the Sunday Paper magazines yesterday plugging the Kindle for the new low price of £111...

  16. l8rm8e

    $25 for an eternity of Mother-in-law styled nagging?

    If given an informed choice, who would choose a $25 discount for constant advertising nagware?

    Probably my mother-in-law. She seems to be in-tune with the Kindle-Way.

    Screw that. I'd rather spend more and keep my sanity (what's left of it). *twitches*

  17. rbryanh


    The Kindle is a moronic single-purpose computer permanently tethered to Amazon's high prices and inferior quality. (Anyone for a 700-page anthology of short stories with no table of contents? Stop complaining - what do you expect for $2 more than their discounted price for the hard cover?)

    And now I'm offered the same turkey plus additional clucking for $25? Do I look like I smoke crack?

    1. Chris Parsons


      but you sound like it.

  18. tom 24

    Not just a book, it's a Service!

    Which is why I don't own one. I really just want a book.

    I hate when the author "revises" a book and the original edition is no longer available[*]. Of course, you need a replacement copy because you loved that book so much you loaned it out until, inevitably, it didn't come back. Now...that book has changed. It's "available" but completely different. It's no longer the book you love, and because the "new edition" exists, you can't get the original at all.

    My nightmare: your favorite book gets "revised" by the author and you no longer have the original copy. Because it is an e-book controlled by the publisher, you do not have control over the book, you don't even have the right to read the original version any more. For a list of other ways in which technology has failed to improve your quality of life, press 2 now.

    * - Treason and A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card. The original edition had magic, the revised edition does not. His writing went into the toilet when he started letting fans tell him what should be in the books. See also Star Wars Episode IV.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No 3G

    The Kindle with the ads for $114 does not have 3G.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see it now...

    "Congratulations! You've won a FREE iPad!"

  21. TelePom
    Thumb Down


    I love my Kindle, but it won't be a web2.0 device until it has colour and a touch screen. The existing physical nav buttons are medieval, and the keyboard is a bitch. My Blackberry is easier to use, and the Kindle has a lot more plastic surface to play with.

  22. PeterM42

    Whatever happened to Web 1.1; 1.2; 1.3 etc?

    I thought that stupid designation "Web 2.0" had been quietly consigned to the Marketing wastebin. We never had a Web 1.1; 1.2; 1.3 (or in Oracle's case that would be and be sure to get the CD with the BLUE label using that specific version number, because it is not the same as the other versions using the same number)

    This whole numbering system gets ridiculous - Windows 7? - Pah! - it's actually NT version 6.1.

    If we did get "Web 2.0" would there ever be a version 2.1?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019