Amazon announced that he is in the process of removing lock-screen commercials from his Prime Exclusive Phone program. Since 2016 the massive online retailer has sold low-end Android phones loaded with Amazon commercials and software with a discount of about $ 50 (and in one case, a discount of $ 200 !. Now the biggest advertising space on phones, the lock screen, is cleaned of advertising.
In its FAQ, Amazon qualifies the change of "Amazon being nice" by saying, "This change allows you to customize the lock screen of your Premium Exclusive phone and use more Easily unlock your phone's technologies such as facial recognition and fingerprint sensors. "The move is more likely related to Google's recent ban on screen-locked commercials from Applications without locked screen.
In December, Google added a new rule to the Google Play developer policy: "Unless the app is used exclusively to lock screen, applications can not introduce d & # 3920; announcements or features monetizing the locked display of a device. "The purpose of the rule as it is written does not seem to be to outright prohibit all screen-locked ads, but to prevent applications from misleadingly displaying locked advertisements." without the consent of the user.As a user, it would be very difficult to identify which application was displaying screen-locked applications, since any game or application would be technically capable of taking control of the application. Lock screen.
Prime Exclusive phones come with preloaded ads, which could technically immunize them against the rules of the Play Store. But apps are also updated through the Play Store, so the rules must apply to all updates. If Amazon created a screen lock application and preloaded it, it would again be allowed to display locked ads, but as it is, ads are served through the "Amazon Deals" app. , which seems to be a violation of the Play Store Rules The obvious solution would be to make an Amazon screen lock app with ads and preload that on Prime devices.
Existing Prime devices must receive an update from the Amazon app, which will erase locked ads. There will always be ads in the Amazon Widget application and the phone will always collect information about "your use of your device, including the system and stability of your device, applications and services on the device and the interaction of your device with software, applications and services on the device. "
The question now is: "What does the future of Amazon's cheap phone program look like?" The company has just lost the largest revenue stream from these devices, and we must believe that current prices have been set taking into account this source of revenue. So, are Prime phones just getting more expensive now? Will ads appear in other places? For the moment, this step seems to be a dressing, and Amazon will need a more permanent solution in the future.
Update: It is not listed on the FAQ page, but a spokeswoman for Amazon told Digital Trends and a few other than the price of each phone Prime would be increased by $ 20. There are also reports of Amazon offering refunds to people who have paid to have deleted screen lock applications.