Amazon Opts Out of Mandatory Kindle Ads

After enduring scorching criticism following its launch of a new Kindle e-reader that required on-screen advertizing, Amazon quickly reversed course and confirmed it would allow users to opt-out — for a fee.

For a one-time payment of $15, the newest Kindle Fire will now allow users to “unsubscribe” from the “Special Offers” originally slated to display on home and lock screens.  Amazon took only 24 hours to announce the reversal, thereby correcting what was generally agreed to be the second biggest product-launch blunder of the past week.

Other than the now-optional “Special Offers,” the new Kindle Fire offers a lot to like, including twice the RAM, a faster processor and longer battery life. The price point also dropped to $159.  The slightly larger update of Amazon’s tablet computer goes on sale Sept. 14.

Apple is expected to launch the iPad mini, a slightly smaller, less pricy version of its ground-breaking tablet sometime next month, aiming to compete head-to-head with the new Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7.

Even toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us is getting in on the low-price tablet computer market, with the launch of its Tabeo, a $149 Android tablet with built-in games and parental controls, which will be sold only at Toys ‘R’ Us stores.

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