Amazon Kindle with Special Offers: costs $25 less, runs advertisements
Amazon is cutting the entry price of the Kindle by $25 -- but it'll cost readers in the form of on-screen ads which they can vote on as "attractive" or not.
The Seattle-based online retail and e-reader giant announced its lower-priced Kindle, dubbed Kindle with Special Offers, on Monday.
The ad-running reader will sell for $114 and start shipping May 3. The regular Kindle, free of advertisement, sells for $139 or $189 with free 3G wireless service.
Ads will display on the Kindle with Special Offers only in a strip across the bottom of the home screen or as a screen saver when the device isn't in use, and thus never interrupt reading, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
"Companies sponsor the screen savers, you pay less for your Kindle," Bezos said."Plus, you receive offers directly on your Kindle that can save you more money, such as a $20 Amazon gift card for $10, six Audible books for $6 and an album from the Amazon mp3 store for $1."
Buick, Chase, Olay and Visa are among the initial companies running ads on Kindle with Special Offers readers.
Amazon is also looking to enroll readers' help in choosing which screensaver ads are displayed by making available a Kindle app where users can vote on which ads they prefer, Bezos said.
The ad-voting app is called AdMash, which sounds a bit like and will work similarly to Facemash, the Mark Zuckerberg-built precursor to Facebook, which showed users photos of two Harvard women and had them vote on which was more attractive.
"Anyone who's interested can download AdMash and help pick future screen savers," Bezos said. "Two prospective screen savers show up side by side, and you pick the one you find the most attractive. The ones preferred most by customers qualify to become sponsored screen savers."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screen shot of Amazon.com's page announcing the Kindle With Special Offers.