Amazon backtracks on Fire tablet ads

Sept. 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

SEATTLE, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- After online criticism of Amazon's decision to feature ads on all its new Kindle Fire tablets, the company now says customers can pay to eliminate them.

When Amazon announced its larger Kindle Fire tablets Thursday, priced from $159 to $599, it said they would feature "special offer" full-screen ads on the devices' lock screens and smaller ads in the corner of the home screen.

This was to keep the prices down, the company said.

But after online criticism of Amazon's apparent decision not to give purchasers to option of paying extra to block the ads if they desire, as it had done with earlier tablets, the company reversed itself, The New York Times reported.

"With Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15," Amazon representative Kinley Pearsall said in an e-mail response to questions about the policy.

"We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out.

However, he said, "we're happy to offer customers the choice."

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