After receiving some heat in the blogosphere and tech press for proposing to bake advertising into its upcoming line of Kindle Fire units, Amazon took a limited retreat from the plan only days after its initial announcements. Initially, Amazon was planning to include its “Special Offers” promotions on the lock screen of all Kindle Fire products.
While an earlier Kindle using the model had allowed users to pay a small fee to opt out of seeing the offers, Amazon was giving mixed signals throughout the weekend about giving users that no-ads option on the next-generation units. Finally, the company released a statement to the press on Sunday announcing that for a $15 fee, buyers of the tablets will be able to remove the “Special Offers.”
CNET and others report receiving the following from Amazon: “I wanted to let you know that with Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15. We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We're happy to offer customers the choice.” Amazon said the policy would apply to all Kindle models.
Amazon announced on Thursday a series of new tablet models, from an upgraded "HD" version of its basic $199 Kindle Fire to a larger-screen Kindle Fire HD that can also include 4G LTE wireless options, with prices up to $499. Amazon is touting the top-end hardware as even more sophisticated than Apple’s iPad, as it sports a hi-res display as well as enhanced WiFi and audio. With this line of Kindle Fires, Amazon is going head to head with Apple for the tablet market.