Amazon to sell ad-supported Kindle for $114


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Amazon on Monday announced that it will offer a Kindle with advertising. The hardware remains the same, but the price has dropped to $114.

The Kindle with ads -- which Amazon is calling Kindle with Special Offers’ -- is $25 off the current retail price. Available now for pre-orders, it will ship May 3.


The Kindle with Special Offers advertisements will appear as full-screen screensavers and as an option on the home screen -- as Amazon puts it in the release, ‘To make sure customers don’t miss any of the offers, a full list of active offers will be available from the menu of Kindle with Special Offers at any time.’

Offers that have been announced include six audiobooks for $6 from Audible and a number of Amazon discounts with a purchase, particularly a purchase with the Reward Visa Card (from Chase).

Other companies in the first round of screensaver advertisements are Visa, Buick and Olay (Procter & Gamble).

Amazon is launching ‘AdMash,’ a Kindle app and website where customers can choose the display advertisements that will become Kindle-sponsored screensavers. The app is free -- which one might expect, considering it’s asking customers to voluntarily act as a focus group for advertisers.

The bigger problem with this is that it just doesn’t look that great. While text displayswell on the Kindle’s low-glare, e-ink display, images don’t fare so well. The Kindle is still in grayscale -- and on screen, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing our photographs in full color.

-- Carolyn Kellogg