Amazon intros ad-supported low-cost 3G Kindle

Posted by Mark Raby

Following announcements related to the Nook and Kobo, Amazon has some Kindle news to share.

The online retailer has unleashed a new version of the 3G version of its e-reader. It's the exact same as the current 3G Kindle model except it is $25 cheaper. In exchange, users are unable to customize the device's screen saver animation because it will instead play advertisements.

This is the same idea that Amazon introduced to the Wi-Fi version of the Kindle earlier this year. With the savings on that version, it became the cheapest Kindle ever, and Amazon said it quickly became the best-selling version.

The ads are not obtrusive, and Amazon assures readers they will never interrupt their reading sessions. And in fact, because marketers can target their ads specifically for a Kindle audience, readers may actually find the ad content as relevant and interesting.

The addition of a cheaper ad-supported 3G Kindle comes during a week when lots of e-reader news is making headlines. Kobo unveiled a new touch-screen model of its e-reader, due out next month, and Barnes & Noble also introduced a new version of the Nook. Both pose a threat to the Kindle establishment, with Amazon now scrambling to keep up-to-date with its competition.

The Kindle 3G with Special Offers is available now. Father's Day, which comes in just a few weeks, is seen as one of the biggest holidays for e-reader purchases, so all players are pulling out all the stops to get dads all over the country to pay attention to them.