09
Sep
kfhd

When the new Kindle Fire and HD models were announced three days ago, the tech world was abuzz with the fact that Amazon has laced them with "Special Offers" in order to keep the cost down. Immediately, one question came to everyone's mind: will I be able to remove the ads?

Initially, there was some confusion on the answer to that questions. We actually heard reports from both sides of the fence - some said "yes, the ads will be removable," while others stated that they were there to stay.

The subject quickly became a bit of a hot topic, so Ars Technica decided to reach out to Amazon for a definitive answer: will users be able to opt-out of Special Offers? In short, the answer they heard back is yes. Users will be able to remove the ads from both the new Kindle and HD models for a one-time fee of $15. We've also reached out to our Amazon contacts for an official statement and will update when/if we hear something back.

Update: An Amazon spokeswoman responded to our request for comment with:

With Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15.  We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out.  We're happy to offer customers the choice.

Once the new Fire series is released, users should be able to unsubscribe to ads at that time, though the support pages haven't yet been updated to reflect how that process will work. Still, it's good to finally get some clarity on the subject, especially for those who plan on picking up the next-gen eReader.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    Good news. I just wonder how open to the public Amazon will be about this option.

  • http://thekonietzkystrain.tumblr.com/ NeuroMan42

    For the cost of the Kindles there should be NO FEE to opt-out of the ads... or they should shave a large cost off the Kindle price. Once again another reason I own Nook instead of Kindle.

    • Freak4Dell

      The new Kindle Fire is already cheaper than the Nook (though I suspect B&N will match the price when they announce their new Nook), and I'll gladly pay $15 to have a tablet that doesn't look like a giant Tamagotchi.

      • http://thekonietzkystrain.tumblr.com/ NeuroMan42

        The point is you should not charged to remove ads to begin with on a device that you already PAID to own. Unless they want to make the Kindles free of under $50 they have no right to FORCE advertisements on a consumer.

        • Freak4Dell

          They have all the right in the world. They're the only company that
          sells a well equipped tablet for extremely cheap and provides support
          for it. You can buy some no-name piece of junk, but it won't be good,
          and you won't get any support. You can buy a Nexus 7, but it's more
          expensive.

          The only reason anybody has a problem with this is
          because it's put in a new light. Marketing is an entire field based on
          twisting something to make the customer think it's a good deal, even
          though it isn't. In the past, Amazon gave you a discount for getting the
          ad-supported model. Now, they're giving everybody the discount, and
          giving customers the option to give the discount back. They probably
          should have stuck with their old model so that simple minds wouldn't be
          confused, but it is what it is.

          • http://thekonietzkystrain.tumblr.com/ NeuroMan42

            Ahhahahahha... OK, sure... the ONLY company that sells tablets. I got some land or a bridge to sell you. LOL!

          • Freak4Dell

            Please, go ahead and show me another modern, reliable, supported tablet that sells for $160, brand new, on release day, shipped to your door. Go ahead...I'll wait.

          • http://thekonietzkystrain.tumblr.com/ NeuroMan42

            Sorry... I don't feed the trolls. Google will set you free with INFORMATION. Take care now.

          • Freak4Dell

            That's what I figured. Enjoy your ad-free keychain!

          • tj

            any reason you can't just not pay the fee and run an adblock? or remove whatever grabs the ads? or install droidwall etc and block access to the net?

          • Freak4Dell

            I don't see why not. It's not ideal (I've found that AdFree and the like usually leave whitespace where the ad would normally go), but I imagine it would work just fine. Also, if the last Kindle Fire is any indication, there will be custom ROMs available for it, so that would take care of the ads, too. The fee is just the easiest way to remove them, is all.

          • DDaDa

            buy the Odys Xelio 7" witn android 4.0 for 109 euro's in Europe at conrad.nl

          • Freak4Dell

            That has a Cortex A8, 4GB of storage space, and 512MB of RAM...not exactly the best specs these days. I don't know anything about the Odys brand, so I won't say anything about that. I suspect it's a no-name brand, but it could be a huge brand in Europe, for all I know. The price is about $20 less than the Fire, which isn't bad at all, but I'd pony up the extra money for the Fire, if for nothing other than to get a more modern piece of hardware.

          • spydie

            You're an idiot. As Steve Martin said, "I get it... It's a MONEY thing". You buy a tablet with ads because you have a choice. I want to save some money and the ads don't bother me, so I'll take the cheaper tablet. Or, I hate ads, so I'll pay more for the tablet. Nook just charges you one high price for no ads, you don't get a choice to buy a cheaper tablet. No, they aren't the only company that sells tablets. You can pay more and get some other tablet that's a real tablet. These aren't REAL tablets. They'll do most of the things a real tablet will, but not all of them because they are a marketing tool for Amazon. That's the way they were designed and Amazon didn't try to hide it. They let you know that these tablets are tied tightly to Amazon, ads, purchasing... MONEY. Oh, and you can also watch (amazon-only) Prime videos.. but only on our tablets. Why? because we are Amazon. We developed the tablet for one reason only... so you'd use our services. If you want a full-featured tablet that isn't tied to a retail business, then buy something else... and pay more money for the privilege. You complainers have totally missed the point. This is not about full-featured do-anything you want tablet. It's a marketing tool. Take it or leave it.

        • ScottColbert

          Oh give me an effing break. No one is being forced to buy one in the first place, you twit. As for Nook, good luck on that when B&N go under in the next couple of years.

    • Chris Caldwell

      lol a nook. Is that even a real thing still?

  • LagniappeDragoon
  • Jon Garrett

    So what happens if you restore your device to factory default., would you have to pay another $15?

    • Freak4Dell

      They'll probably store the information on their servers, and re-authenticate the device when you connect to the internet again.

    • DCMAKER

      most likely it'll be linked to your amazon account

  • http://www.facebook.com/kennyfool Kevin Escorza

    Yeah I don't know why everyone is making a big deal about the ads... We all know that once it's rooted, it will be ad free without having to pay anyone anything. Regardless, I can't see how anyone in their right mind would purchase an ad supported device. Ads are gross.

    • DCMAKER

      they also milk you for all your time. aps that are ad free get devs more money than people who buy it. They should have an ad device that gives you ads until you hit the $15 amount after that they no longer have ads. I will bet money that Amazon will get anywhere from 5-30 dollars from most people before they give in and pay the 15 bucks so they will rack in 20-45 bucks for each device.

  • Peeed Off

    Just use an Adblocker...I am sure someone will come up with one for the Kindle...!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      There is already Adaway which works on rooted Android devices by blocking in-app ads and website ones.
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.adaway&hl=en

      • Peeed Off

        Use it myself, but the Kindle is UnRooted, so an App suitable for that would be the way to go

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

          No worries though it will get rooted soon and then we will have custom ROMs (like CyanogenMod) which are completely devoid of adverts.

  • Chris Caldwell

    This is a really stupid idea. Sure, you can look at it like they are selling it to you for $15 cheaper if you dont mind adds, but who will? No, so unsuspecting new-comers to Android and or tablets spend all this money, or get so excited at christmas, only to find out that right off the bad Amazon wants another $15 just to stfu. And, lets face it, Kindle HD users are all unsuspecting new comers, thats why the get an android device thats completely barred from the android ecosystem, So now theyve got a bottom tier device, cut off from the android ecosystem, unable to run the same apps as any of their friends, and to top it off its playing 'stick em up' with adds as if it were freeware. lol Amazon, how are you making ANY money in mobile still?