The next version of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet may use advertisements to lower its price to consumers, sources have told the Wall Street Journal. According to the sources, the advertisements would appear on-screen after the user wakes the tablet from sleep.
Amazon's E Ink Kindles have already been using a similar strategy for quite some time—both the Kindle and Kindle Touch are offered in standard and "with Special Offers" forms, the latter of which costs $30 less than the non-ad-supported Kindles. Users can choose to pay the extra $30 at any time to permanently dismiss the ads. Whether the amount of the ad subsidy (or the option to pay to dismiss the ads) would differ for the Kindle Fires is unclear.
The original Kindle Fire was fairly unique when it launched last year for the impulse-buy price of $199, but it has since been eclipsed by other tablets that offer more features and better specifications for the same amount of money, most notably Google and Asus' Nexus 7 tablet. The option to subsidize some of the tablet's cost with advertisements could help Amazon undercut Google without having to take a significant loss on each tablet sold.