NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says buyers of its new Kindle Fire HD tablet will get the option to turn off the advertisements that appear on its standby screen for $15.
The online retailer showed off the tablet last week, and said there would be no option to turn off the ads. That was a departure from Amazon's previous policies. It has shipped Kindle e-readers with "Special Offers" ads on the standby screen, but users could pay to have them turned off.
Over the weekend, Amazon said that policy would apply to the Kindle Fire HD.
"We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out," says spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall.
The first Kindle Fire HD model will start shipping on Friday.
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here's Amazon's mistake. It shouldn't charge to remove the ads. Fifteen dollars? Whose rear end was that number pulled out of? In addition to the seeming arbitrariness, there is a capitulating, negotiating feel to this solution. Amazon should not squirrel away from the lock-screen promotions. If a user doesn't want recommendations, Amazon should yank those suckers off the device knowing that it's the user's loss. They should invite users to opt in to smarter recommendations by filling out a preference form.
Are the Kindle ads there for Amazon's benefit? That is small-minded thinking. Regarding them as a product enhancement is larger-minded, and if there were no removal tax Amazon might be surprised how many Kindle owners chose to keep the ads.