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Amazon launches ad-sponsored Kindle

Amazon has launched a cheaper Kindle with special offers, but customers will need to watch “sponsored screensavers” to take advantage of the lower price.

The cheaper Kindle will sell for $114, $25 less than the standard model. It will also come with a bunch of special offers, such as getting twice the value for Amazon gift cards. There's no word on if and when it will come to the UK or Europe or what kind of offers will be available with it.

The deals will include a $20 Amazon gift card for the price of $10; six audio books for $6, when they're normally $68; an entire album from Amazon's MP3 store for just a dollar; $30 of Amazon Denim or Swim Shop clothes for $10; a free $100 gift card, instead of just $30 when signing up to Amazon's Visa card, $10 of Amazon credit on its Visa card when buying one of the Kindle 30 bestsellers, or 50 per cent off the Roku Streaming Player.

Consumers will need to weigh up how much they want that $25 off, however, as it doesn't come without a price. Screensavers displaying ads will be installed on the device and a Kindle app called AdMash will allow customers to vote for their favourite screensavers – and, of course, brands.

If this is successful we may see more ad-sponsored products aimed at the lower end of the market, which is either a good thing for the less wealthy or a bad thing for those wanting to buy cheaper products without having to supplement the price with ads.

The latest Kindle is available for pre-order in the US now. It will ship on May 3.