Amazon confirms all new Kindle Fire models stuck with ads, no opt-out allowed

“All of the new Kindle Fire tablets include ad-supported ‘Special Offers,'” John P. Falcone reports for CNET.

“That means that the lock-screen will have have an ad, along with a link on the home screen to a full list of sponsored deals,” Falcone reports. “Previously… Amazon gave you two ways to get ad-free versions: you could buy the more expensive, ad-free version of the product to begin with (a $20 premium on the new e-ink Kindles), or you could “buy out” of the ads after purchasing the Special Offer Kindle by simply paying the difference later, through your Amazon setup page.”

Falcone reports, “With the new Fire models, Amazon is removing both of those opt-out options… An Amazon spokesperson has confirmed to CNET that there will be no way to buy out of the Special Offers ads.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier today:

Likely not much of an issue for Amazon’s price-concious target market, but here’s the thing: As we’ve seen with Android phones, cheapskates don’t make the best customers. Therefore, those ads are likely to be less effective and Amazon’s goal of selling content is hamstrung by the type of skinflint consumer to which they are pandering. In other words, if you really want to sell content, it’s best to target the well-heeled who actually have money to spend and who are proven to spend it. Unfortunately for Amazon, those are Apple customers.

Why smart retailers lust over Mac, iPhone, and iPad users – June 26, 2012
Wealthy smartphone users more likely to have iPhones – April 2, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Researcher: Apple iPhone and iPad the top choices among affluent users – July 26, 2012
• Apps for Google Android make only 24% as much as same apps for Apple iOS devices – December 13, 2011
• Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
• iPhone users smarter, richer, less conservative than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
• Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
• Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009


  1. This is no joke – I think Apple has a patent on advertisement supported tablets. I read about the patent a few years ago on this site.

    It seems like that might be difficult to patent, so I’m not sure what aspect of it was patented. I guess we will find out soon enough if Amazon infringed

    1. I think that pertains to ad suported content (i.e. Tv or movies) not hardware.
      I am really suprised that there is “always on” ads. I can tolerate ads in TV content (though the new longer ads in HULU are getting annoying)
      But always on advertising?
      That doesn’t even compete effectively with existing android tablets (which I think are the only competitors, if you aren’t a hater would you really not buy an iPad? I think not.)

  2. It would be funny if Apple bought an “special offer” ad, to appear on the Kindle Fire home screen…

    “Special offer – Recycle your Kindle Fire and get 20% off on an iPad.”

  3. I have owned a Kindle since the first model and love it for reading outdoors, on camping trips and such. The Fire is NOT a Kindle and I wouldn’t touch one if it came with a winning lottery ticket.

    1- Stolen Fandroid OS and all that imposes.
    2- Glossy display that ruins on prime advantage of a real Kindle- no effing glare.
    3- No e-ink that enables the outrageous battery life.
    4- Now- built in adware.

    Amazon must not know or not give a shit about the serious reader- most of us would rather lick a toilet bowl than suffer through ads on an e-reader. I gladly buy season passes for the few shows I do watch that are not aired on premium cable or PBS to avoid the barrage of ads and in show supered lower thirds.

    Guess they are going for the bodice ripper market that would take ads to save a nickel.

  4. Having watched Jeff & Co’s press conference for the new Fire HD one of the take aways I had was that Amazon was focused on aligning itself with the customer. I don’t see how advertisements align with the customer in any way shape or form. No opt-out just nailed the coffin shut on this Android tablet.

  5. There WILL be an ad-free version. Just as soon as the initial wave of buyers start returning them and the complaining starts.

    It is always easier to remove ads and appear nice than to later put ads in.

    1. No there won’t. Amazon makes too much money (more than the previous $20 premium for no ads) to remove them.

      There will be ad-free versions when people jailbreak their Kindle Fires. So that will be about 5% of Kindle Fire owners, or approx. 500.

      1. PS. 2 things to learn from this.

        1. Amazon values the ad services of a Kindle at $15 for the lock screen adspace.

        2. Amazon was using this as a test for public reception of locked version. Amazon had to “confirm” the locked verion in order to validate the public response. The “rumor” was so outrageous that most people would not believe it, therefore the “confirmation.” Many companies do this by releasing sponsored rumors (I believe Apple does this too.)

  6. remember the original 1998 iMac ad campaign:
    mocking Intel/Microsoft PCs with “nothing inside” or PowerPC chips toasting Intel chips?

    in the Post-PC era it’s Fire-less insides (guts) or the devilish opposite of the P-ersonal C-omputer: what’s personal about more f’g ADS!?! and undemocratically – Amazon kills choice to pay more for ad-free hardware! wtf kind of capitalism is this?!

    F ads!
    shove them up your corporate asses.
    who buys from ads nowadays anyway?
    all those billions spent by manufacturers on ads – totally useless. might as well spend all that on raising our braindead educational systems and the west’s worst infrastructure!


  7. This just confirms that the company that Amazon is mainly gunning for is Google. As stated on another post, I really don’t see the Kindle Fire tablets as a threat to the iPad. They may actually help Apple in closing the window of entry for the likes of Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Asus, Sony, etc.

    I have an earlier Wi-Fi only keyboard Kindle and I think it’s great – especially for reading outdoors. I always take it with me when I go to the beach or camping. The iPad is virtually unusable in bright outdoors. I’m interested in the “paperwhite” Wi-Fi-only version although I agree the name is pretty stupid.

    Basically, in this new Internet age, we have five “platform” providers: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and, to a degree, Facebook. The two that matter to me are Apple and Amazon. I’m fine without the rest although I still see the need for Office every now and then. Overall, I’m virtually Google-free and I really couldn’t care less about FB but I do use it for business purposes to check up on things (maybe 30 minutes a week).

    Amazon, on the other hand, my family and I use quite a bit. We use Amazon to order everything from cooking wares and makeup to toys and apparel for the kids. I still buy e-books for the Kindle that I can also read on the iPad although my e-book purchases are 50/50 between the two (as long as the iBook prices match Amazon’s).

    Longer-term, I do see Apple and Amazon competing more vigorously in the content market but, for now, I think Amazon seems more focused on locking out Google and making sure they don’t get enough of a foothold to threaten what Amazon is doing. Of all the frenemies that Apple has, I think Amazon is the most complementary and less of a threat than Google and Microsoft.

    I, for one, would love to see Amazon pummel Google and Samsung with these cheap tablets, which they’ve already done and will do so again. Let Amazon control the bottom 30% or so and keep everyone else out. They’ll have to go through the Fire to get to the iPad and they’re going to get burned trying.

    I certainly have no interest in any of these Fire tablets. The Kindle e-readers are fine as I’m a voracious reader, but the iPad is good for that as well and can do a whole lot more. Bezos may poo-poo the “device” but I feel it’s merely a misdirection kind of thing aimed more at Google than Apple since Apple’s ecosystem is still a lot bigger and much nicer than Amazon’s.

    1. Sorry @Tommyr, but reports of potentially non-ad versions were wrong. It turns out that these wrong reports came out of Amazon’s own support center!

      One article I found said that possibly some countries won’t have ad-infested versions of the Fire HD. But this remains unclear. We know that at least the USA and UK versions will ALL have ads.

  8. I do have a very hard time understanding the valuation of AMZN. A P/E ratio of 315 is just so out of whack. It makes the dot com bubble of the late-90’s seem very sane in comparison. What exactly is it that the investors see in AMZN to give it such a ridiculous valuation when the net profit margin of Amazon is less than 1%? That Amazon is going to eventually bury WalMart as *the* retail outlet of the future?

  9. NOTE:
    -> CNET has taken down the source article.
    • WHY?
    -> Because there has been confusing misinformation given out by Amazon support that there would be a forthcoming announcement about how to remove the ads. Engadget had to climb the chain of command at Amazon to get the final word that:

    There is NO opt-out from advertising on the Kindle Fire HD. That will certainly be the case in the USA and UK. Ad status in other countries has not been announced.

    You can follow the Engadget reporting mess HERE

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