A Wall Street Journal article published yesterday claims that Amazon will be “ratcheting up pricing pressure in the gadget wars” by including an ad-supported version of the Kindle Fire in its soon-to-be-released Kindle lineup (perhaps this coming Thursday). WSJ sources claim that the ads on the Kindle Fire would display after waking up the device from sleep mode, and I would posit that they will also incorporate a small banner at the bottom of the home screen, similar to its placement on the Kindle 4. An ad-supported version of the Kindle Fire would enable Amazon to sell the new device at around a $170 starting price, making the KF the cheapest of the major brand 7-inch tablets. This seems like an obvious choice for Amazon as they like being able to say that their device prices “start at” a very low number.
Barnes & Noble has been unimpressed with Amazon’s decision to feature advertisements on their eReaders in the past (Nook has a “no annoying ads” motto), but if Amazon can sell the Kindle Fire for $30 less than the current (and probably future) Nook Tablet, I’m thinking they might have a change of heart. I applaud B&N for their ads-free Nook, so I’m hoping things won’t change.
Amazon needs an ad-supported device to give them an edge over the Google Nexus 7 and other competitors. Of course, it should be their advances in technology, not their ability to slash costs, that set Amazon apart from the rest. The price wars are ensuring that this will not be anyone’s main concern.
Remember the good ‘ole days, when this was the Kindle’s only ad support?