Nerds of the Round Table

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Kindle Gets Ads

For those of you who follow me on Twitter you might have noticed my repeated profession of love for my 3G Kindle.  Well that and a list of all the Zombie books I’ve completed lately.  There’s just something I enjoy about being able to have thousands of books in one tiny device.  And being able to read the same books on my iPhone is also a definite perk.

The one thing I never particularly cared for about the Kindle was its price.  At $139 for a Wi-Fi only version or $189 for 3G the price is a bit high.  Honestly, I think the magic price point for the Kindle would be $99.  I think a lot more people would be interest in buying a Kindle of their own for that price.  Luckily, Amazon is working to decrease the price of the Kindle.  The trade-off is that some folks might not like the method Amazon has chosen to reduce the retail price.

Starting on May 3, Amazon will begin selling an ad-embedded version of the Wi-Fi Kindle for $114, a $25 price drop off the original Wi-Fi Kindle.  And yes, you did read that correctly I said ad-embedded.  This version of the Kindle will feature ads that display on the title screen and that function as the screen saver of the device.  The ads will display as a small banner on the home screen.  However, the screensaver ads  will cover the entire screen.

As of right now Amazon is using full-size ads to promote special features that customers might want to purchase.  For example one of the featured ads is a $20 Amazon giftcard for $10.  In addition to special deals there will also be ads from featured companies.  The nice thing is the ads will not change while the device is on standby.  That means no draining your battery to have rotating ads on a Kindle in standby mode.  An example of the full-page ads can be seen below.

All in all, it’s not too intrusive but it’s still ads on a product I own.  There’s just something that rubs me the wrong way about having ads shown to me on a platform I have spent so much money on.  For me the $25 price difference does not overcome the annoyance factor of having to look at advertisements on my Kindle.  I’m sure other people think differently and hopefully a cheaper version of the Kindle is able to bring more users to the platform.  It’s a wonderful way to read books.  I think that placing ads on the device is a slippery slope though.  How long until there start being ads placed into a book I’m reading.  I can’t help but think that would ruin the reading experience of the books I have been reading on my Kindle.  Hopefully Amazon doesn’t start allowing ads to be placed within books, or if they do hopefully its only on the ad-embedded version of the Kindle.  That will keep me quite happy to have paid full price for my device!

Kindle with Ads


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