Amazon today revealed two new Kindle Fire HD tablets plus a refreshed Kindle Fire. Amazon was keen to boast about how awesome the tablets are despite their relatively low price tag. What Amazon neglected to mention is these new Kindle Fires are all ad-supported.
According to The Verge, the refreshed original Kindle Fire, 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD LTE all show Amazon “Special Offer” ads at the lockscreen (the screen you see when you turn on your device, the screen you unlock your device at prior to using it). There are reports that these ads go away if you disconnect from WiFi but that begs the question of if the ads always show on the LTE version of the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and who pays for the data used to show those ads.
Also unknown is exactly how Amazon decides what ads to show. In other words, will Amazon show ads based on your purchase history? Or maybe based on the content (movie, TV show, books, etc.) you have viewed? If Amazon is going to show personalized ads, is there a way to opt out of personalization? And how does Amazon ensure the ads being shown are appropriate for all ages (i.e. prevent dirty movie ads showing up on a lockscreen of a tablet that a kid may use)? So many unanswered questions thanks to Amazon’s lack of openness.
One thing we do know, however, is unlike the Kindle e-reader which Amazon offers two versions (a cheaper, ad-supported version and a more expensive, ad-free version), these new Kindle Fire tablets only have ad-supported versions. Gives us a little insight on how Amazon can pack top-of-the-line hardware into a tablet and price it so low.
To be clear it isn’t necessarily the presence of ads on the Kindle Fire tablets that is wrong. I mean, yeah, ads are a big deal; many people don’t want to view ads on something they have paid for, myself included. However, the bigger issue is Amazon was not (is not) very open about it. Tisk, tisk.
[via The Verge]