Don't want to see ads on your new Kindle Fire? Get out your wallet
There's a lot to love about the new Amazon Kindle Fires announced last week, but one feature has proved very unpopular: Inescapable ads that appear every time you wake up the high-tech device, with no way to opt out. But after fielding a torrent of complaints, Amazon has surrendered to popular opinion and announced you'll be able to pay to have ads removed from the newest generation of Kindle Fires.
To be fair, the "special offers" only appear on a Kindle's lock screen, and very few people choose to opt out of the ads on current devices. If ads are especially offensive to you, paying $15 is all it will take to banish them forever from your new device. The added charge will bring the cost of a new Kindle Fire HD up to $214 — slightly more expensive than the ad-free $199 Google Nexus 7 tablet.
If you've ever wondered why the Fire is sold so cheap, the secret is advertising. The devices are sold at a loss — the only way Amazon makes money is if you buy books, apps, and multimedia after the fact. By taking away advertising, Amazon risks not making its money back on its investment. But given that so few people currently opt out of ads, one would imagine that Jeff Bezos has nothing to worry about when it comes to his company's bottom line.
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