A Wednesday update will disable the ads, but that means pricier phones going forward.
Amazon is getting rid of the lock-screen ads that appear on smartphones sold through its Prime Exclusive program.
A Wednesday update will disable the ads, which Amazon says “allows you to personalize your Prime Exclusive Phone’s lockscreen and to more easily use your phone’s unlock technologies, such as facial recognition and fingerprint sensors.”
The ads—which could take up a device’s entire display—were a downside to buying smartphones from Prime Exclusive, which offers Prime members $50+ discounts on unlocked Android phones from LG, Motorola, and Nokia.
New phones sold through the program will no longer show the ads, but that means phone discounts will no longer be as steep. “We will increase the price of every current Prime Exclusive Phone in the portfolio by $20,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an email.
The phones will also still carry pre-installed company software, including the Amazon Widget app, which will display product deals. These apps cannot be uninstalled. It’s also unclear if smaller, notification-based ads will still appear over the devices.
The change has nothing to do with Google cracking down on lock-screen ads. “As smartphone technology has evolved, we also want to evolve the Prime Exclusive Phone experience to ensure customers can easily use…facial recognition and fingerprint tech,” the Amazon spokeswoman said.
Amazon is rolling out the change as an update to the Amazon Offers app. “You can check to see if this update is available in the ‘My apps & games’ section of the Google Play Store (app),” Amazon said.