Forget the hype and premature praise for the Kindle Fire HD for the moment, because the past couple of days has been quite the storm for Amazon, and not for reasons it would have hoped. A backlash has since followed Jeff Besoz's so assured presentation, with many criticising Amazon's decision to make the HD an ad-supported device, with 'Special Offer' ads set to adorn both lock and home screens.
In contrast to the ad-supported Kindle's that have come before them, there will be no non-special offer Fire HD's available at launch. Since, and after a heady mix of speculation and confusion – immediately following the conference, tech blog Engadget reported users would indeed be able to opt-out of the ads – Amazon then went on to report that Kindle Fire HD owners would have no option but to live with the advertisements, confirming to the likes of CNET there will be no way to effectively 'buy-out' of the ad support.
Less than 24 hours later and Amazon is back, presumably fazed by the negative reaction, with yet another retraction: Kindle Fire HD users will have the option to remove intrusive home and lock screen 'Special Offer' advertisements – for a price... Like the current ad-support Kindle e-readers that can be purchased at a subsidised price to accommodate 'sponsored screensavers' and later upgraded for a sum of $20 to the 'premium' model, an Amazon spokesperson has now revealed to CNET the Kindle Fire HD will now receive “a special offers opt-out option for $15,” stating the company is “happy to offer customers the choice”.
Oh really, Amazon? This wasn't a just a quick reversal to sate audience expectation? Still, the quick turnaround can be applauded in some ways, showing the company isn't prone to resting on its laurels, rather one that will do its best to accommodate the masses. And with it, the Kindle Fire HD remains one to look out for.