Amazon is selling a version of the Kindle Wi-Fi for $25 off (18%), but it comes with “special offers”. The special offers only show up on the screensaver or as banner ads on the home screen — they do not interrupt the reading experience. Or, put another way, they are passive rather than intrusive.

At first it sounds like you’re getting a measly $25 discount for the “privilege” of “getting” to look at ads on your Kindle. However, reading about it a bit more about the special offers actually doesn’t sound like too bum of a deal.

Basically, it looks like you’ll be getting coupons and discounts that work on Amazon.com as well as relevant ads that you can opt in to seeing. In a way it sounds as if you’re buying a Kindle with a built in Gold C coupon book.

But if that’s the case, then why not charge more? Probably because nobody would buy it. And then the other obvious question is why not give it away for free if it’s going to be ad supported? Probably because Amazon wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand.

April 12, 2011