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Amazon is getting rid of lock screen ads from its Prime Exclusive phones

Amazon offers exciting discounts on a variety of phones via its Prime Exclusive program (opens in new tab) in exchange for lock screen ads, but that's changing. Starting tomorrow, February 7, Prime Exclusive phones will no longer feature ads, and Amazon has mentioned that it will roll out a software update for current phones that will get rid of the ads.

Amazon stated that the move was to enable fast unlock methods like facial recognition and fingerprint sensors:

As smartphone technology has evolved, we also want to evolve the Prime Exclusive Phone experience to ensure customers can easily use features such as the phone's mobile unlock technologies like facial recognition and fingerprint sensors, as well as be able to personalize device lockscreens with photos or wallpapers.

With ads no longer taking over the lock screen, Prime Exclusive users will be able to set customized wallpapers as well. To compensate for the removal of ads, the devices will be pre-installed with Amazon's apps, including Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, and an Amazon widget.

And while the devices will still be discounted from their list price, Amazon has said that it will increase the prices of all current phones in the Prime Exclusive portfolio by $20.

Considering the Prime Exclusive program counts the likes of the LG G6 (opens in new tab), the Moto G5 (opens in new tab), and the Nokia 6 (opens in new tab), there's plenty of great choices if you're in the market for a new phone. And the fact that you no longer have to deal with lock screen ads makes it a much more enticing option.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

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Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Nice.
  • Wonder if this is anything to do with Googles's changes to their lock screen policy announced last year "Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device."
  • Was just going to say that.
  • Yep, I just got the email
  • I definitely dig this. Those added apps are a decent trade-off for not having ads shoved in your face all the time and alot of people already have some or most installed anyway.
  • I'd rather have the ads if I can’t uninstall those apps. The lock screen ads don't bother me at all.
  • I smell a full on Android price war brewing between Amazon, Google, and Samsung primarily. Or should I say battle of the Voice Assistants...
  • three ******* words *****
  • I have wondered how they make up a $40+ discount with lock screen ads -- and who clicks on them??? -- I guess this means it wasn't working. Dropping the "with offers" discount by $20 will make it a tough sell over buying an unlocked phone.
  • Oh, I see a lot of potential scenarios. Mostly misclicks and pocket unlocks (mostly with people without locking method). And, well, sometimes potentially interested people, because Amazon may know what people want to buy.
  • I'm sure it shows adds depending on the owner of the phone and their shopping history.
  • Correct. I've clicked on some. Not sure if I've ever purchased anything that way, but probably put stuff on my wish list for later purchase.
  • I wonder the same myself, but I know for a fact that my mom has bought a few things that she saw advertised on the lock screen of her G4 Play. And hell, I've bought a couple of books that were advertised on my Kindle's lock screen.
  • They must be going to release some new devices soon. The current in-stock selection is pretty limited.
  • Very nice, Amazon continues its take over
  • I feel this is more related to the issues with lock screen ads providing a security flaw in allowing the lock screen to be bypassed straight to some users prime accounts. This was especially a problem in the Moto g5 plus amazon exclusive.
  • Yep, that was my immediate reaction. I think this is a bug fix being positioned as a feature.
  • I wonder if the lock screen ad program just wasn't generating as much revenue as they had hoped, and they think that they'll make more money by offering a smaller discount and hoping that including Amazon service bloatware will tip people toward using their secondary services.
  • If my phone popped an ad on my lock screen I'd smash it with a hammer! I detest ads in all their variants..
  • You were never in the phone's target market.
  • @StayClassy101, my thoughts exactly. Plus, couple it with Google's new lockscreen rules, and there you go.
  • They are raising prices by $20 per their frequent asked questions. At that point their still not worth it.
  • Has anyone received the update to the Amazon Offers app yet? The Play Store website shows that the app was updated February 6, but my phone shows that the most recent update was September 18, 2017. I have a Prime Exclusive BLU R1-HD