Luckily for those that have already purchased a Prime Exclusive phone, or those that are looking to purchase one in the future, there are big changes in the works. Amazon says that starting tomorrow, February 7th, it will begin offering Prime Exclusive phones to customers that don't feature lockscreen offers or ads.
"As smartphone technology has evolved, we also want to evolve the Prime Exclusive Phone experience to ensure customers can easily use features such as the phone’s mobile unlock technologies like facial recognition and fingerprint sensors, as well as be able to personalize device lockscreens with photos or wallpapers," writes Amazon in a statement.
"Prime Exclusive Phones will continue to be offered exclusively for Prime members with discounted prices and will be available unlocked, giving customers the freedom and flexibility to choose the wireless carrier and service that best fits their need."
It should be noted that customers that already own a Prime Exclusive will receive an update starting this week that will remove the lockscreen offers and ads. Given the attractive pricing available on these smartphones, this is a big deal that Amazon is essentially backing down from a steady revenue stream. It remains to be seen, however, if pricing on the phones will increase to make up for any advertising shortfalls.
We should mention that although the ads are going away, your Prime Exclusive phone will still be littered with a wealth of preinstalled Amazon-backed apps like the main Amazon shopping portal, Amazon Video, Amazon Kindle, Audile, Prime Now and Amazon Music (among others).