/// Amazon Offers Advertising Opt-Out on Kindle Fire
WSJ.com – Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.80% said it would allow customers to pay to opt out of advertisements on its new lineup of Kindle Fire devices.
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For $15 extra, buyers can avoid seeing ads that would otherwise be occasionally displayed on the devices. The announcement follows a raft of online criticism of the arrangement, which helped Amazon keep down the prices of the $159-$599 tablet computers.
Amazon drew some backlash from consumers in online forums who said they were disappointed there was no way to avoid the so-called special offers on the Kindle Fire. The Seattle-based company also offers Kindle e-reader devices with advertisements at a $20 discount from marketing-free versions.
“We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out,” Amazon said in a statement. “We’re happy to offer customers the choice.”
Customers will have to buy the Kindle Fires at the discounted price and pay to opt out of ads, Amazon said. The ads appear on the devices’ lock screen and on some screen savers.
Amazon showed off its new line of Kindle tablet computers last week at an event near Los Angeles, touting the devices’ low prices relative to Apple Inc.’s AAPL -2.67% popular iPad. The prices are meant to differentiate Amazon in an increasingly crowded tablet market that includes a device from Google Inc. GOOG -0.77% and a forthcoming tablet from Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.75% According to people familiar with the matter, Apple AAPL -2.67% is also planning a smaller version of the iPad.
Last week, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos suggested the company may break even or lose money on the sale of its devices. Amazon expects to recoup the money later through the sale of apps, e-books and services such as its annual $79 Prime fast-shipping membership.