Amazon’s come out with a very interesting offer—you can buy their WiFi only Kindle for $139, or you can get the ad-supported version for $114. I say interesting offer, because it’s really neither good nor bad. That’s only a $25 price difference, which amounts to just over a dollar a month, presuming that you hang on to your Amazon for two years. With that in mind, the real question is:
“Would you pay $1 a month to have an ad-free Amazon Kindle experience?”
That’s less than a cup of coffee, or, these days, a quarter of a gallon of gas. We’re not talking about a huge savings here.
But still, these are tough times and as much as we profess a hatred for ads, you have to seriously consider whether or not the ads will bother you. For example, if you own an iPhone or iPad—devices which cost hundreds of dollars by their own right—think of how many ad-supported “lite” or “free” apps you’ve bought instead of paying a meager $0.99 for the ad-free version. And think of how happy or unhappy you are with these apps. If you are the type of person who gets the ad-supported version as a trial run and then later upgrades to the paid version once you decide you enjoy the app, then you’re probably better off paying the extra $25 and getting the ad-free Amazon Kindle. Especially since there doesn’t appear to be a kosher aftermarket method for removing the ads.
But if you use ad-supported apps everyday and the unobtrusive ad banners don’t bug you, then by all means, save yourself $25 and get the sponsored version. Because after all, the advertisements aren’t that bad. They only appear in three places:
On the home screen, along the bottom as an advertisement.
In the browsing screen, when you are flipping through your library.
On the screensaver, when the device goes to sleep.
Note that the most notoriously annoying types of ads—the pop ups, the pop unders, the in-text ads, the dialog boxes that chase you as you navigate away from the page—are not present in the sponsored Amazon Kindle. Nor are there any ads when you are actually reading the book. True, your Amazon does become a digital picture frame for advertisements when you’re not using it, but you’ll probably have it put away or in its case at that time.
And don’t forget—these ads will be highly targeted to Kindle users, meaning you just might find them useful. In a world where everyone is clamoring to give services like LivingSocial and Groupon full access to their inbox, it’s somewhat of a surprise that anyone would be unwilling to give Amazon a direct channel to them for juicy deals. For example, one ad that pops up offers $20 worth of Amazon credit for $10. And given that you already own a Kindle, it’s highly likely that you’ll be buying some eBooks—it’d be crazy not to take them up on this buy one get one free deal.
So, should you buy the sponsored Amazon Kindle? The answer is, yes. But not yet. That price is going to drop—its inevitable. We’ll probably see a $99 sponsored kindle in the near future, and really, given the amount of advertising they can deliver through these bad boys, they should be giving these away for $50. So, if you can wait, then do. But don’t be afraid to buy the sponsored Amazon Kindle at any point.