In case you haven't seen it yet, Amazon is offering a new version of their famous Kindle ereader, this one comes with "Special Offers." It's $25 cheaper than the standard Wifi version, but it comes with some offers where you can buy other things at a discount. It also comes with Advertisements on the screen savers. (Possibly elsewhere, but not in a way that affects reading, according to their info.)
First off, neat. A somewhat corporate sponsored version of an ereader. I like that, so long as it doesn't directly impact the normal reading experience. IE, if you don't drop ads in the middle of books, while I'm reading, or during page turns or some such crap like that to annoy me, I'm totally fine if the screen saver is an advertisement for something else, within reason. IE, if the ads turn out to be stuff that personally offend me, or I really don't want on my devices, I'd get annoyed. (Like cigarette ads would piss me off, just for one example, but by no means limited to that.) So if there's a way we can opt in or out to various categories, I'd be cool with it. Let me re-iterate here, if some corporation wants to sponsor my reading habits with the thought that I might see an advert or two in between reads or on the screen saver, I'm cool with that.
However, I do have to say this: really Amazon? $25? That's IT? You want to sell our eyeballs to advertisers for a mere $25 discount? Really now. And am I the only one that is looking at that price, the $114 and thinking: were you just too cheap to go the extra $15 and finally cross the $100 barrier? I mean come on!
So I give them an A for the idea, but a B- on the pricing. Not just because I want things cheaper, frankly I HAVE a Kindle, it's not that I need one personally at the moment. No, it's more from a milestone point of view--I think they could have made a major impact beating B&N to the $99 price point. To put it plainly, eInk alone isn't going to hold up against the veritable onslaught of Android tablets coming on the market now. (I won't get into the iPad discussion because frankly, Apple is doing what they always do: find a price point and holding to it. Instead of drifting down the price, they'll continue to maintain that price niche and just update and improve the currently available tech in attempts to justify that price point.)
Ah well, here's hoping for a Kindle 4 that will be color and running something like Android under the hood soon enough. (I can't help but think that's in the works, what with the new Amazon Android store out and about now.)
So what do you think, would you go for a deal where the ereader was cheap because you'd have adverts/corporate sponsorship to supplement that unit cost? And just how much of a commercial presence would you deal with before it annoyed you?