Following the launch of its ad-supported Kindle three months ago, Amazon has now made the same move with the Kindle 3G. The Amazon Kindle 3G with Special Offers is identical to the Kindle 3G, but it will cost you $139 instead of $189 (a savings of $50, or 26 percent) in exchange for showing you ads.
It's worth noting that these ads aren't popping up in the middle of reading a book – they're just replacing the Kindle's screen saver while the device is idle and a small strip at the bottom of the home screen. We said this when Amazon first introduced the concept, and we'll say it again: for many, this is a fair trade off.
As a refresher, here is a list of the Kindle 3G's main features:
- Free 3G wireless, no annual contracts, no monthly fees
- Global 3G coverage means books in under 60 seconds in over 100 countries and territories
- Paper-like Pearl electronic ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight
- Lightweight body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand
- Kindle Store with over 950,000 books – a largest selection of the most popular books
- Seamless integration with free "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Windows Phone
"Kindle 3G is more convenient - customers never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot - they simply download and read books anytime, anywhere. Kindle 3G customers read 20 percent more books, and take advantage of twice as many special offers," Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said in a statement. "A big thank you to AT&T for helping to make the new $139 price possible."
"Kindle 3G is by far the fastest-growing connected device on the AT&T network. We consistently hear from customers how much they enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a Wi-Fi hotspot and instead being able to download and read new books anytime, anywhere on AT&T's fast, reliable network," Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said in a statement. "We are excited to sponsor Amazon's best Kindle - Kindle 3G with Special Offers - at the new lower price of only $139."
It's smart on Amazon's part to continue offering the ad-free versions of the devices. To summarize, the company now offers the Kindle with Special Offers ($114), the Kindle ($139), the Kindle 3G with Special Offers ($139), and the Kindle 3G ($189). That's a pretty solid lineup as everything is under $200.
Amazon has been steadily slashing the price of its Kindle devices. Eventually, some of the devices will fall under the $100 mark, which will be a much better psychological price point. The launch of the Amazon Kindle 3G with Special Offers today shows that buyers have responded well to the original Amazon Kindle with Special Offers. Amazon is thus pushing forward with ad-supported devices.
I hate ads with a passion, but even I have to admit this is a pretty good deal.