Newsletter Issue #667: Some Foolish Marketing Schemes from Amazon and Nokia

September 10th, 2012

As many of you know, Amazon’s announcement of a new lineup of Kindle tablets has gotten a lot of publicity. But the one irritating fact, one that threatened to make these new tablets non-starters for many potential customers, didn’t get so much attention. In fact it was hardly mentioned, but it seems, you see, that the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD is ad-subsidized.

Sounds surprising, but it’s true, and this is already a “feature” of the cheapest Kindles, designed to lower the purchase price, so you shouldn’t be surprised that Amazon would want to spread the “joy.” For the Kindle Fire lineup, Amazon will place ads on the lock screen and home screen. I suppose they expect customers to put up with such intrusions in exchange for the lower price tags, but that’s a huge question mark. I do wish the media had spent more attention on the ad-driven factor in praising these tablets to the skies.

However, there is now a published report that, yes, customers will be able to remove the ads for a $15 fee. Well, at least it’s not $150, but it’s still quite clear that the Kindle Fires are being sold at or below cost, in the hope that consumers will make up the difference buying products and services from Amazon.

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