Kindle Fire HD tablets will have ads
The new Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets will come with sponsored messages on the lock screen, but you can opt out
Amazon spent a lot of time yesterday touting the new features of the Kindle Fire HD tablets but it didn't mention that these new devices are so well-priced partly because they will come with ads on the lock screen.
Amazon first debuted these "Special Offers" on the eInk Kindle reader and it displays ads on the screen when it's not in use. These are generally unobtrusive and it's one of the reasons Amazon is able to offer its Kindle lineup at great entry-level prices.
I didn't see these special offers on the Kindle Fire HD I played with but I would imagine the color display will allow for more interesting ads. It's also unclear how interactive these will be but at the very least, I expect you'll be able to buy new books or content directly from these ads.
Some of you may be upset that Amazon wasn't more upfront about this and that there's currently no option to buy a Kindle Fire HD without these Special Offers. It appears you will be able to get rid of these ads in the future for a price, though.
An Engadget reader was upset and sent a message to Amazon about wanting a Kindle Fire HD without these ads and this person received a rather garbled response that said, "I undersatnd [sic] that you would like to opt out of hte [sic] special offer and willing to pay extra for opting out special offer. Options for unsubscribing special offer will be announced soon."
On the eInk Kindle, you can get rid of these ads through the settings by paying about $20 and I'd expect there will be a similar option on the Kindle Fire HD tablets.