So there we have it. Jeff Bezos has spoken. Amazon is coming at you with four new Kindle Fire tablets, with a refreshed version of its original 7-inch model selling for $159 and, at the other end of the price scale, an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE, with a $499 price tag.
Prior to the event in Santa Monica on Thursday, there had been talk of Amazon launching two 7-inch Kindle Fires – a lower-priced one with ads and one without.
During his spiel, Bezos made no mention of the situation regarding ads – or as Amazon likes to call them, ‘Special Offers’ – though a look at information on its website about its new products reveals that in fact all of these new tablets will be coming with ads, with no option to opt out – for now at least.
The ads will appear on the lock screen of the tablets and will include “special offers and screensavers from brands like AT&T, Discover and Intel, such as a special offer of a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card when a customer uses their Discover card to purchase a digital product on Amazon,” the e-commerce giant explained on its website.
Of course, ads on the lock screen are hardly obtrusive, but there will be those who would rather not be confronted by a special offer or promotion every time they switch on their tablet, preferring instead to have the ability to customize all parts of their device. For Amazon, it’s a way to keep costs down, and let’s face it, for the specifications of these new tablets, they really are going for a song. In fact, if the new products are anything like the original Fire, they’re being sold at below cost price, with Amazon banking on making money from users buying content for their Fires from its well-stocked online store.
“People don’t want gadgets anymore, they want services,” Bezos told those gathered before him in Santa Monica on Thursday. They probably don’t particularly want ads on their lock screen either, but if it means they can get their hands on a Kindle Fire for a dirt cheap price, then plenty of them will quite happily live with this minor inconvenience.
Check out our full review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7.