Sick of the ads on your ad-supported Kindle 4 with Special Offers? You can get rid of them, but it’ll cost you. The quick fix fits right into Amazon’s new “it’s not a device, it’s a service” mantra.
The Digital Reader reports that Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has added the capacity to “unsubscribe” from screensavers and special offers on the Kindle with Special Offers. If you do unsubscribe, you’re charged $30–in other words, bringing the cost of the $79 device back up to $109, the cost without the ads.
This only appears to work on the newest Kindle, the basic non-touchscreen version that was released last week. The upcoming Kindle Touch ($99 ad-supported/$139 non-) and Kindle Touch 3G ($149 ad-supported/$189 non-) will presumably also include the capacity, with an “upgrade” cost of $40.
Jeff Bezos has called the upcoming Kindle Fire a “service,” not a tablet, and here we see a way in which Amazon is treating its e-readers as a service as well, allowing users to “upgrade” them to a premium version if they don’t like the ads–the way they could do with non-electronic freemium products. (Yeah, I’m imagining an entirely free ad-supported Kindle somewhere off in the future.)
It’s a smart move by Amazon, with no apparent downside for the company: Draw people in with the lower prices, but keep them happy if they decide they don’t like the ads–why not? And as a user on the MobileRead forum points out, “you can even keep the K4 subscribed long enough to save $30 in offers and that will cover your out of pocket for the $30 unsubscribe fee.”
Unclear: Whether you can “downgrade” a non-ad-supported Kindle to a version with ads and receive money back.