Amazon is ditching lock screen ads that appeared on some of the phones it sold. The handsets will now cost more, but the ads will disappear from handsets people have already bought through the program.
The change affects the “Prime Exclusive Phone” range that offers members of Amazon Prime a discount on a range of unlocked phones including some LG, Moto and Nokia handsets. The discounts are fairly substantial: for example the LG G6+ has a list price of $799.99, goes to ordinary Amazon users for $704.71 and is available to Prime members for $519.99.
Until now part of the bargain was that you had to put up with ads on the lock screen, similar to the option for getting cheaper prices on some Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. Based on both the change of policy and Amazon’s explanation of the changes, it appears users also found the ads far more disruptive on phones, particularly those with biometric security features.
Starting this month, phones will ship without the ads, but there’ll be a $20 increase in prices (the same amount currently offered as a discount on Fire and Kindle models that carry ads.) The phones will still be significantly cheaper through the program, which is of course designed to get people to sign up to Prime.
The ads will stop appearing on phones already in use once the Amazon Offers app is updated.