Amazon is removing lock screen ads from Prime Exclusive phones

"We will increase the price of every current Prime Exclusive Phone in the portfolio by $20", an Amazon spokeswoman said in an email. Currently, you have to press a fingerprint sensor twice on these phones to unlock.

For folks who already own an Amazon Prime Exclusive smartphone, a free update will arrive beginning this week to remove the lock screen ads and offers from the device. A software update will also remove them from customers' existing devices.

Amazon Prime phones could be exempt from this policy since customers agree to the ads for a lower-priced device and they had the option of paying to turn them off. Here's the full statement. If Amazon made a lock-screen app and preloaded it, it would be allowed to show lock-screen ads again, but as it stands, the ads are made through the "Amazon offers" app, which would seem to be in violation of the Play Store rules.

Showing advertisements on devices is one way that Amazon reduced the cost of a device for the end user, which extended to the Prime Exclusive program that started back in 2016.

So, you'll still have the pre-loaded Amazon apps on these phones. 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. And in perhaps even more exciting news, customers who now own a Prime Exclusive device will receive a free update over the next week that will take away lockscreen ads. The bootloaders are locked down, but that's not hugely important to most buyers.

As of Tuesday, you have a pretty decent choice of phones from the Amazon Exclusive Phones program.

  • Joe Gonzales