Sam Byford, The Verge:
Like last year’s cheapest Kindle e-reader, all three new models — that’s the Fire, the HD 7, and the HD 8.9 — will display Amazon’s “Special Offers” promotions and advertisements on their lock screens. Unlike the low-end Kindle, however, Amazon isn’t offering the devices in more expensive, ad-free models, nor is it making mention of any way to opt out for a fee.
At the $200 price point, the “Special Offers” (ad-displaying) Kindle discount is about $30–40. So the new Kindle Fire is effectively the same price as the old, ad-free one: the new feature, among the other improvements, is ads.
The Fire has a very clear goal, much like the other Kindles: to sell as much Amazon content as possible. It’s like those magazines that people buy for the ads. Who’s going to care if a vending machine shows ads?
It’s a smart strategy, especially when one of your only selling points over the iPad is “It’s a lot cheaper.”