It took all of a day before Amazon realized the extent of their mistake in creating mandatory ad space on every Kindle Fire and changed their tune. Users will not be able to disable ads on their Kindle Fire tablets in the same way that they can when using the Kindle eReader. This removes what was by far the most upsetting bit of information related to the launch of these devices.
The use of ads to subsidize a very cheap price on all hardware sales is something that Amazon has been working with for a while now. The original Kindle Fire has not been covered by any ad revenue so far, but it was inevitable that the next generation would be. The bad decision to force the ads on everybody would indeed make them far more profitable for Amazon since advertisers have expressed concern about the variability of their audience, but it would also drive away sales. Clearly the scales were not balanced in the way that Amazon expected given the quickness of their response to consumer pressure.
The new plan is to offer the ability to opt-out of Special Offers on the Kindle Fire HD for just $15. While Amazon has indicated that very few customers end up going through with the removal of these ads, the fact that the option is available will earn a great deal of goodwill.
The opt-out page will be available when the device begins to ship. That is currently scheduled for September 14th.
As much as the ads were not a deal breaker if handled properly and implemented on an otherwise impressive piece of hardware, I think many people who wanted a Kindle Fire HD are breathing a sigh of relief right now.