If you’ve ever purchased an Amazon Fire tablet directly through Amazon, you’ve probably seen their “special offers” promotion that shaves some of the cost of the device off in exchange for personalized lock screen ads. Amazon’s line of thinking is that they’ll make more money off of shoving ads in your face than selling a full-priced device, and so far it’s worked for them.
Following that strategy, Amazon will now be offering slightly subsidized unlocked phones that, you guessed it, will have Amazon ads on the lock screen. It looks like they also come preloaded with many Amazon apps, too, like Amazon own App Store, Amazon Video, Kindle, and several others.
The first two phones in the program are the Blu R1 HD and the Moto G4, both of which are $50 off if you choice the Amazon subsidized option. That makes the R1 HD just $49 and the G4 $149. If you’re interested in the Moto G4, Amazon is also offering an extra $25 discount for Prime members right now, too. $125 for the new Moto G4 is really hard to beat, even if it does have lock screen ads.
This program is new, and it’s definitely out of the ordinary, but if you’re invested in Amazon’s ecosystem and don’t mind the ads for a big discount on your next phone, this might be worth keeping an eye on. Plus, the phones are unlocked so you’re not tied into any one carrier, which is a big advantage. I’d imagine if it does well we’ll see Amazon expand it to other phones.
Who knew we’d eventually see the day when a company like Amazon would subsidize phones the way AT&T and Verizon used to?