Kindle with Special Offers
The big ebook-related news for this week is that Amazon has released a new version of the Kindle. This one is priced lower at $114, and it comes with “special offers” and advertisements. These special offers will display in a bar across the bottom of the page, or in a screen saver that comes on when you’re not reading. Amazon promises that the advertisements will not interfere with your reading.
The offers are coupons for discounts on products like MP3s, audio books, and products at Amazon.com. There will be an app called AdMash that you can download to the Kindle that will allow you to customize the offers that you see. This is not yet available.
It looks like the device itself is exactly the same as the regular version that sells for $139.
When I first heard about this, I scoffed at it. I thought something along the lines of, great, another advertising scheme. But now that I see that the “special offers” are actually offers, that changes my opinion. Basically, you get to pay less for the device and then get free valuable discounts on products. The value will depend on whether you actually want those products, so if you can customize the offers that you see, that will be better.
It doesn’t ship until May 3rd, so we’ll see what people say once they actually have the device.