Amazon about face: Will allow Kindle Fire ad opt-out for $15

Amazon Kindle Fire HDIt appears that Amazon has had a re-think on the issue of selling its new Kindle Fire tablets as ad-supported devices with no chance to opt out.

According to a Cnet article posted Saturday evening, Amazon has performed a 180-degree turn, saying that it will now let Kindle Fire owners opt out of the ‘Special Offers’ ads – for a fee, of course.

“I wanted to let you know that with Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15,” an Amazon spokesperson told Cnet in an email. “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.”

It was later clarified that buyers of the entry-level $159 non-HD Kindle Fire tablet would also be able to opt out of ads for a fee of $15.

So why the change of heart? Disgruntled consumers interested in buying the new tablet but not interested in being confronted with ads every time they switch it on must have been large enough in number to cause Amazon some serious concern.

Those who choose to save themselves $15 and go with an ad-supported ‘Special Offers’ version will see an ad on the lock screen as well as a link on the home screen to more ads.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos unveiled four new Kindle Fire tablets on Thursday: a refreshed version of its original 7-inch model with a $159 price tag; a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD selling for $199; an 8.9-inch HD version for $299; and a 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD model with an 8.9-inch screen going for $499. And don’t forget to slap on another $15 on if you don’t want the ads.

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