Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, wants everyone to own a Kindle. To do so he lowered the price of his best-selling e-reader to a very reasonable $139 (wi-fi only) in June 2010. Apparently that wasn't enough as Amazon today announced a new, cheaper addition to the Kindle family: Kindle with Special Offers for $114.
The Kindle with Special Offers is just that: A regular ol' Kindle with with sponsored offers sent to the device. The ads will be displayed on the Kindle as screensavers, and as a bar at the bottom of the home screen. Buick, Olay, and Visa will be the first companies to offer these sponsored screensavers. Amazon says the first Special Offers will include:
- $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
- $6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
- $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
- $10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
- Free $100 Amazon.com Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card (normally $30)
- Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 Amazon.com credit
- 50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99)
Amazon is also supplying an app called "AdMash" which will let users choose which ad from a certain company they would prefer see on their Kindle. The ones which are most preferred by users will become sponsored screensavers. It's also giving users control over what type of screensavers will be sent to them through a new "Screensaver Preferences" menu accessible through users' Kindle Page.
We wish Amazon was able to drop the price of the Kindle to $100 flat, but $114 isn't too bad. We're sure it'll get to that price point soon enough. However, subsidizing the cost of gadgets through ad-supported features is an interesting business model.
Check out the full press release here.