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February 7, 2018

Amazon’s Prime Exclusive Phones will no longer come with lockscreen ads

by John_A

Amazon’s Prime Exclusive Phones program allows customers with a Prime subscription to buy certain phones at a cheaper price — with the catch that it comes with offers and ads that pop up on the phone’s lockscreen. Well, starting February 7, there will no longer be any lockscreen ads and suggested offers on these Prime-exclusive phones.

Amazon said it’s making the change to accommodate advances in smartphone technology that can cause its lockscreen ads to interfere with overall functionality.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

The decision makes buying a Prime Exclusive Phone much more attractive, as Prime members are now effectively getting a discount without having to deal with ads. You won’t be seeing the same discount though, meaning these devices will now cost a little bit more money.

“While we will still offer a discount off of the list price, we will increase the price of every current Prime Exclusive Phone in the portfolio by $20,” an Amazon spokesperson told Digital Trends.

The other caveat, is that Prime Exclusive Phones will continue to have a collection of Amazon apps pre-loaded on the phone. While the apps allow you to access all the benefits exclusively available to Prime members, such as access to movies and TV with Prime Video or music with Prime Music, they also can account for a decent amount of internal storage. If you do not use these Amazon services, you may not be able to remove the apps from the phone (but you can disable them). We’ve reached out to Amazon for confirmation.

Amazon currently offers several budget, mid-range, and even flagship phones in its Prime Exclusive Phones collection, including the Nokia 6, LG G6 Plus, and Moto X4. The phones, available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, are sold unlocked and most are compatible with every U.S. network.

This change will affect not just new Prime Exclusive Phones, but old ones as well. If you have a Prime Exclusive Phone, an over-the-air update starting this week will remove the lockscreen offers and ads from your phone.

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