Amazon Rolls Out Cheaper Kindle with Ads, Special Offers

Psst, you over there. Come closer. How would you like a brand new, never opened Kindle for $114? Yes, this is the third-generation Kindle, the letters are all in English, and no, it didn't fall off of a truck. What's that, you're still skeptical? Alright, there is a catch. In order to receive the $25 price break, you have to put up with special offers and ads, but hear Amazon out on this one.

Amazon's new "Kindle with Special Offers" is the exactly the same as the regular third-generation eBook reader except that it comes with special offers and sponsored screensavers displayed on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen. Here are some of the special offers Amazon has on tap for the coming weeks:
  • $10 for $20 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 Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Card (normally $30)
  • Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 credit
  • 50 percent off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99)

You'll also have to put up with ads, not only on the screensaver, but on the bottom of the device. However, Amazon promises they're non-intrusive and won't interrupt reading. What's more, a new app called AdMash gives Kindle owners the ability to vote on which screensavers they'd prefer to see. The ones with the most votes qualify to become sponsored screensavers.

In addition, Special Offers customers can give Amazon hints on the style and types of sponsored screensavers they wouldn't mind seeing, which is accessible from the Manage Your Kindle page on You can choose whether to see more or less screensavers with certain elements, like landscapes and scenery, architecture, travel images, photography, and illustrations.

"The opportunity to offer custom-designed Kindle screensavers was a natural fit for Buick because Kindle is such a unique device surrounded by a community of intelligent, passionate people," said Craig Bierley, Director of Advertising and Promotions, Buick. "Kindle's high contrast e-ink display eliminates glare and is perfect for emotionally engaging and impactful brand imagery, allowing us to connect with Kindle readers wherever and whenever."

Obviously Amazon is trying hard to put a positive spin on all this, and it's an interesting experiment from a number of angles. It's also a little concerning if you were hoping for another no-strings-attached price break as the tablet market starts to flesh out. At $139 for a Wi-Fi Kindle, it's not as though Amazon's third-generation eBook reader was pricey to begin with, but it does appear that's the lowest it's going to go unless you're willing to contend with ads.

What's your take on all this? Would you be willing to buy an ad-supported Kindle for $114?