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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hard to resist, even though I own an iPad: New Kindle with ads will cost just $114.

Yesterday, Amazon introduced a new member of the Kindle family -- Kindle with Special Offers -- for only $114. It's like the "normal"  #1 bestselling Kindle, with special offers and sponsored screensavers. The special offers and sponsored screensavers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen. Learn more at www.amazon.com/kindle.  Kindle with Special Offers is now available for pre-order to customers in the U.S. and will start shipping on May 3.

"We're working hard to make sure that anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "It's only $114. Kindle is the best deal in consumer electronics anywhere in the world."

Buick, Olay (Procter & Gamble), Visa, and Amazon.com Reward Visa Card (Chase) are sponsoring the first series of screensavers specially-designed for Kindle's high-contrast, no glare electronic ink display. Examples of deals that will be delivered directly to Kindle with Special Offers devices in the initial weeks include:

•$10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card (Can I buy a hundred of them?)

•$6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68) (Wow!)

•$1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums) (Wow, again.)

•$10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop (I can always use another pair of Levi's) 

•Free $100 Amazon.com Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card (normally $30) (Holy Shit!... actually, it's only sort of Holy Shit, because I already have an Amazon Visa.)

•Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 Amazon.com credit (I'm sure I'll find something.)

•50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99) (I'll let this one pass.)

It looks like I can easily save enough money on things that I would probably buy anyway to make the effective cost of the iPad ZERO!

To make sure customers don't miss any of the offers, a full list of active offers will be available from the menu of Kindle with Special Offers at any time.

Amazon is also introducing "AdMash" - the free Kindle app and website where customers choose the most attractive and engaging display advertisements that will become Kindle sponsored screensavers. Kindle's sponsored screensavers are specially-designed display advertisements that take advantage of Kindle's high-contrast, no-glare electronic-ink display. Before these advertisements can be presented to Kindle customers, they are first previewed by customers using AdMash. Users are presented with pairs of sponsored screensaver candidates and asked to select which one they prefer. Screensavers with the most preferred votes qualify to become sponsored screensavers. The AdMash Kindle app will launch in the coming weeks - for a preview, visit www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers.

In addition, Kindle with Special Offers customers can give Amazon hints on the style and types of sponsored screensavers they would like to see. From the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com, customers can use Kindle Screensaver Preferences to indicate whether they like to see more or less screensavers that include elements such as landscapes and scenery, architecture, travel images, photography, and illustrations. Together, AdMash voting and Kindle Screensaver Preferences help Amazon present sponsored screensavers that customers find attractive and engaging.

"The opportunity to offer custom-designed Kindle screensavers was a natural fit for Buick because Kindle is such a unique device surrounded by a community of intelligent, passionate people," said Craig Bierley, Director of Advertising and Promotions, Buick. "Kindle's high contrast e-ink display eliminates glare and is perfect for emotionally engaging and impactful brand imagery, allowing us to connect with Kindle readers wherever and whenever."

Kindle with Special Offers includes all the same features that helped make the third-generation Kindle the #1 bestselling product in the history of Amazon.com:

•Paper-like Pearl electronic-ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight

•8.5 ounce body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand

•Up to one month of battery life with wireless off eliminates battery anxiety

•Kindle Store with over 900,000 books - largest selection of the most popular books

•Seamless integration with free "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based devices

I definitely don't need a Kindle, but most of my acquisitions are motivated by wants, not needs. However, I'm sure it will be a legitimate tax deduction since it will enable me to how my eBooks look on a Kindle. This deal is hard to resist.

Sure, the screen is smaller, and not color like my iPad, but I'll be able to read the Kindle in bright sunlight where I can't see the iPad screen.

I guess the next move is a $99 Nook from B&N.

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