The dawn of the e-reader is upon us. Literary purists have long feared technology would infiltrate the medium and their fears have proven prescient: Amazon’s Kindle led the pack of e-readers and the devices have become increasingly popular over the past year. This week, Amazon announced it will sell a discounted Kindle that is supported by advertising.
Normally, a Kindle retails for $139, but the discounted version Amazon is now hawking will sell for the marginally lower price of $114. However, consumers on a budget should note that the lower-priced alternative will come with “special offers and sponsored screensavers.” Amazon said the device can be ordered now and will begin shipping on May 3.
So far, Amazon has lined up a team of heavy hitters to lend their advertising power to the device; those companies include Buick, Olay, Visa and the Amazon.com Reward Visa Card from Chase. The Kindle will present deals to users through the new advertising, with most directing users back to Amazon’s retail store to cash in on the coupons.
The Kindle is the most popular item ever sold by Amazon. This year, it is expected to bring the company $5.4 billion in revenue. Jay Marine, the director of Kindle products, said the cheaper version was designed to appeal to consumers on a budget. “This is about making sure anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one,” Marine affirmed. “Every time we’ve been able to make Kindle more affordable, we’ve seen huge growth in demand. We expect the same to happen here.”