What’s more surprising: That Amazon is launching an ad-subsidized gadget, or that it’s doing it before Google?
Since we first heard about Google’s mobile ambitions many years ago, the theory was that the company would be able to subsidise consumer devices — phones, tablets, whatever — with all the ad money that it would be raking in, before anyone else.
Yet it’s 2011, and there’s no Google ad-subsidized anything, unless you count the Android program in general. Heck, the semi-official Google “Nexus” phones are among the most expensive you can buy.
Meanwhile, Amazon of all companies is knocking 20% off its most popular Kindle, and trying to make up the difference with special offers and advertising.
So either the maths is going to blow up in Amazon’s face, and this is going to become a huge failure, or Google is missing in action.
As mobile analyst Chetan Sharma tweets, “While Google is focused on Facebook, Amazon is coming in from left flank. Beautiful.”