back to article Amazon: Pay more for Kindle Fire, smoke ads from slabs

Amazon, in a surprise U-turn, has decided to start selling a more expensive version of its Kindle Fire model that will not stalk its customers with ads. The giant online retailer said over the weekend that it had applied the switcheroo to its pricing policy. This is after it initially launched its Kindle Fire tablets with …

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  1. Richard 81

    Good

    Wish you could do that with Android devices (for those that aren't going to root it).

    1. Law

      Re: Good

      I'm not sure what you think it's doing is actually what they are doing.

      It's just disabling amazon ads/offers on the screensaver isn't it? Ads within apps you download will still be able to display ads, and as far as I know this is the first time a manufacturer of an android (albeit it a fork of android) comes with ads baked into the OS features. Android itself is ad free... it's the crap people put on top that starts shovelling ads at you.

    2. ACcc
      WTF?

      Re: Good

      Umm - I haven't noticed adverts on anything except free games or apps. And I can generally pay for those to get rid of the adverts if I so wish. And I suspect, thought the article doesn't say so, that ad supported games will still serve adverts, it's just the home screen/lock screen adverts that will be disabled.

      Incidentally are you talking about rooting the device to install adblock, therefore getting free games and also not giving the developers any money? Tight much?

      1. John Robson Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Good

        I just don't allow most games internet access.

        I'd not have an objection to them pulling ads from an "ad server" app locally - which has limited 'net rights, and be limited to using wifi only (caching a few ads for "offline" use)

        So in general I don't see many ads, quite a few blank boxes though...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good

      Well, if you're not prepared to root it, you can at least get rid of in-browser apps with the (now very serviceable) Firefox for it, which has a working Adblock Plus port. This works just as well as you'd hope.

      Ads in apps are another thing, sadly you need to root the machine for that. Mind, once you have, you can use Titanium Backup, so there are compensations.

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Good

      I'm not aware of any android tablet which has advertising baked into the UI except for the Kindle Fire.

      Some downloadable apps use some pretty scummy adware packages which infect the workspace and notifications with ads. Google changed their terms so adware must state explicitly what app the ad originated from so it's easier to identify and get rid of it. There are also a number of adware removing tools on the store which can be employed to either block external communication or kill the adware in some other way.

      The best defence of course is users who reward apps which don't engage in scummy practices and punish those that do.

      As for Kindle users, well it's kind of their own fault for using a tablet which is inextricably tied to a single provider.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Good

        In defence of the original poster, I took his post more in the sense of 'I wish more manufacturers had a non-crapware option' rather than being specifically about Android or about advertising, since that seems to be an Amazon-specific problem.

        People like you and I may know that the first thing to do upon purchase of a new PC is to uninstall the 30-day Norton trials, vendor-specific browser extensions, etc, but if I could pay £15 to move responsibility for that task for people like my parents from me to the manufacturer then I'd do so.

        1. A J Stiles
          Linux

          Re: Good

          "the first thing to do upon purchase of a new PC is to uninstall the 30-day Norton trials, vendor-specific browser extensions, etc" -- installing Ubuntu does all that and more, and doesn't even cost you £15.

    5. LarsG
      Meh

      Pretty much

      Pretty much every purchaser will pay the extra £15 or so, does this mean it is a tax?

  2. andreas koch
    Thumb Up

    Buy

    a Nexus7.

    1. Mark C Casey

      Re: Buy

      Pretty much this. Videos have now started appearing online showing the new kindle fire in action, it's laggy and slow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Buy

        Not seen the videos, but is the display (optimised for reading books) - hence, is a comparison with say an iPad valid ?

        1. andreas koch
          Holmes

          @ AC 1337 (cool time to post, btw) - Re: Buy

          An answer to that would be 99% Fanboi or AntiAppleist, and thereby useless.

          Sorry.

        2. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Buy

          It is not an e-ink display if that's what you mean. It is an android slab where you buy stuff from Amazon rather than the Google Play store, so I think it is in the same market segment as the iPad.

        3. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Buy

          "Not seen the videos, but is the display (optimised for reading books) - hence, is a comparison with say an iPad valid ?"

          The Fire is a tablet with some kind of LCD display. It should be more than capable of playing video at a full frame rate.

          The e-ink Kindle in common with most e-readers using the same tech struggles to offer acceptable refresh rates for even for turning pages in books.

    2. Dana W

      Re: Buy

      That's looking like a better and better option every day.

  3. Robert E A Harvey

    Well, I am twice as likely to buy one now.

    1. FartingHippo

      Basic Maths

      Without knowing how likely you were to buy one before the announcement, that doesn't mean a lot.

      50%, or 0.5%?

      1. Steve Knox
        Holmes

        Re: Basic Maths

        Based on my extensive experience in Regtard psychology, I'd guess Robert E A Harvey was implying that the odds of him buying a Kindle Fire have doubled from a baseline of 0%.

  4. Atonnis

    Ugh...

    The day has finally arrived where people have been bamboozled into thinking that it should be a special pay-for feature to not be advertised to.

    Having said that...I'd possibly pay a premium for a pair of glasses (NOT google) that filtered out every-day advertising...

    1. Ian 55

      See John Carpenter's They Live

      That has a pair of glasses that does that...

      1. I'm Brian and so's my wife
        Alien

        Re: See John Carpenter's They Live

        A very enjoyable film - well worth a watch!

    2. OffBeatMammal

      Re: Ugh...

      the feature is that - by default - you get a cheaper device in return for an ad on the lock screen. I've had an ad supported eInk reader for a while now and I love that fact that I saved a few bucks and to be honest the ads don't bother me (in fact they target things well enough that I have bought something off there) ... you only seen them for a few seconds when you wake the device from sleep so I assume the Fire HD will be the same.

      $15 to turns ads off for the lifetime of the device... seems like a great compromise. that's about three sticky latte concoctions here in the US

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Ugh...

      Maybe I'm part of some super-intelligent elite, but it has always been perfectly obvious to me that adverts subsidize the cost of whatever they are spoiling, be it TV, radio , magazines or web-sites. What did *you* think they were for?

      1. Atonnis

        Re: Ugh...

        *I* thought that advertising was to subsidise the cost for things that you actually want. Magazines tend to stick to a topic, TV is a bloody mess where I want to pay for the stuff I'm interested in and *NOT* subsidise the shit that seems to make it onto screens. For example, I'd love the money for *MY* time to go to shows like Haven, Good Cop, Warehouse 13...and *NOT* to go to shows like X-Factor or 'Celebrity <Insert F-ing Stupid Program Here>'.

        The same way as when I go to websites I'm there looking for a topic, so advertising is warranted (in moderation) to what I'm looking for. It shouldn't be just pumped at me for the consumption device.

        The next thing that'll happen (OH MY GOD IT MIGHT ACTUALLY HAPPEN OHSHITOHSHITOHSHIT!) is that my TV will start bringing up advert bars along the sides whilst I'm watching any programs, even if they're on Blu-Ray or DVD...

    4. DJ Smiley

      Re: Ugh...

      TV licence = you paying not to view adverts (via the bbc).

      We've been doing it for years.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Ugh...

        Personally I'd rather have the Soap People pay for the Television, and let my DVR sort it out.

        TV license = license for the Government to butthurt you, and then for what? So they can have a back door to tax those who like the Internet?

  5. o5ky
    Devil

    surely within a week there will be a work around for this... maybe just a new lockscreen app that replaces the current?

  6. PaulR79

    Missing Kindles and alternative options

    I can see a few alternatives to this $15 charge but they revolve around rooting and then installing a vanilla ROM or just getting a Nexus 7. With that said the biggest question I have about the launch of these is why does the UK (and Europe I guess..) not get the Paperwhite Kindle or the 8.9" versions? I suspect it's because of them being ad supported to a degree and each country in Europe has different laws but if anyone has a better reason, or an official one, I'd love to hear it.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: Paperwhite

      I've pre-ordered Paperwhite 3G without ads from USA 2 days ago (via shipito.com). I suggest you do the same if you want it shipped into UK so badly.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Paperwhite

        Buyer beware if you purchase a US model for use abroad. At least for the large-screen variant, although you could *buy* it for international delivery, it remained locked to the US phone network for its whispernet and consequently you paid roving surcharges every time you downloaded a book.

  7. chiller

    Does advertising really work? Seems most people, short of ripping their own testicles off with a claw hammer, will do anything to be rid of the damned nuisance.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Depends on the advertising

      Amazon knows enough of your shopping and "browsing for the next thing to buy" history to be able to nail you with anything from an "offer you cannot refuse" to or a simple reminder "didn't you want to buy this?"

      I have noticed Amazon ads on other websites - they are 99% spot on (scary in fact).

      So as far as Amazon is concerned their ads work.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Depends on the advertising

        The targeting may be 99% spot on, but unless you actually buy something that you wouldn't otherwise have bought, the ad has not worked for the person who originally paid for it.

  8. Dana W
    Mushroom

    Wait a minute.

    I am anti-ad. I am intensely anti ad. I lead about as ad free a life as it is possible to lead in the 21st century. I said right after the first ad subsidy Kindle that they were working towards an ads ONLY model. Well they tried, and we said NO! They heard us. "This time"

    I was on the Amazon Kindle forum for days RANTING about this. But some of you really miss the point, they charge you LESS for these devices with ad subsidy. You are NOT paying more to get rid of ads, you are paying LESS to HAVE them!

    Why are people raving about it NOW? We WON! Amazon caved! For the price of a reasonably decent restaurant meal you can make them go away. Its not even as much as you would pay to buy out the ad subsidy/hardware cost. They don't have to charge much because they know maybe 20% of us at best really care, and far less than that are going to drop the $15 to actually DO something about it.

    This is a gesture to hush up bad press. But its a WIN. I never really liked the term "Freetard" till now, but I'm starting to get some sympathy for it.

    1. Trygve
      WTF?

      Re: Wait a minute.

      "For the price of a reasonably decent restaurant meal " = $15?

      Where the fuck do you live, and how much does accommodation cost? I need to revise my retirement plans.

      1. Jan Hargreaves

        Re: Wait a minute.

        Not sure if they live in America, but if they do, apparently Americans consider McDonalds to be a restaurant.

        1. Dana W
          Meh

          Re: Wait a minute.

          I detest McDonald's. I'd give you the lot of them for one decent chip shop. I can sit down to a decent steak and potatoes for $15 . I can have authentic Cantonese for he same.

          If you can't get a respectable meal for $15 you are not trying.

      2. Dana W

        Re: Wait a minute.

        Minneapolis Minnesota. http://blog.mcnallysmith.edu/files/2012/03/minneapolis-skyline1.jpg

  9. Hagglefoot
    Devil

    No such thing as a free launch

    Surely what did people expect.

    Agreed that unfortunately ads is the discount you get and books now become like magazines and news papers with an ad on every page. Is it a distraction of course it is, just like the mobile phone users in a quite cafe, the hissing sound of a ipod in the ears of a deaf sod on the train, the acoustic frequency increase everytime an advert comes on on the telly just at the good bit.

    Its all geared to ensuring you get no peace and quite to concentrate on anything and in that zombie like state you have to buy the latest tech/app promoted by the ads because its going to manage or solve a problem you never actually had until now.

    Give it some thought people, how long will it last before your the one thats no longer logging into the service because its not longer profitable to operate, I would estimate about the life length of the battery between 2-4 years. By then you will already have seen the advert for the next socially inept product.

    What you should be doing is not paying $15 to switch the ads off, you should be being paid to have them on. I mean do you let anyone just park their car in your garage, well do you?

  10. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Meh

    UK?

    According to an Amazon statement I saw, the ads only ever applied in the US. Is that right?

  11. OldScot

    If you 'opt out' does your html still go through Amazon's proxy server? (The one that adds the ads wherever and whenever it feels like...)

  12. Pirate Peter

    £15 for no ads hmmm!!

    and how many ads would they have to serve to make £15 from a single users??

    lots and lots, and if users are happy to stump up £15 up front how is that going to affect their bottom line ?

    quite nicely up me thinks

    so users get no adds for what they think is a small price and amazon get a nice chunk of wedge for basically doing nothing,

    question is are they still gathering data, just not serving the ads? if they are they are still winning even more

    time to check small print me thinks

  13. Jon Leighton

    Turn it around

    "We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out."

    If that is so, let those that want adverts, pay for them. Solved!

    1. Dana W
      FAIL

      Re: Turn it around

      The whole "ad subsidized" thing eludes you apparently.

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