After all the initial euphoria surrounding the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD had died down, there were grumblings of discontent surrounding the Special Offers in its homescreen. They were basically just advertisements (with a fancy title) that appeared in lockscreens and isolated other instances in the Kindle Fire HD UI.
There was quite an outcry after rumors of the Special Offers being impossible to opt out of started getting bandied about. As it turns out, it’s all much ado about nothing.
An Amazon rep had this to say to settle the issue:
“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.”
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Inc.’s CEO, had an interesting statement to make in the presentation for Amazon’s new Kindles – the e-Readers with Paperwhite displays, the revamped Kindle Fire, and the jewel in the crown, the Kindle Fire HD. He claimed that Amazon’s products were not gadgets, but storefronts; storefronts with large, interactive screens that could be accessed at any time, and anywhere.
Bezos was making a larger point about the business models of Amazon hardware. They seemed to offer an unbelievable set of features for the prices they sold their products at. As it turned out, the first Kindle Fire was sold at a loss of roughly $10 per unit. If you compare that with Apple’s near extortionate pricing strategies for the iPad (with a profit margin of at least 50% by any account), it seemed to make little sense.
Amazon has tried to compensate for the lack of profitability in its hardware with new strategies like ad-supported Kindles, and now, with the Special Offers-laden Kindle Fire HD. At this point of time, an end user just has to shell out 15 more dollars to get around Amazon’s attempts at monetizing the Fire HD.
Release ID: 209