Amazon has announced that starting tomorrow, February 7th, the company is removing the lock screen ads from its discounted Prime Exclusive Phone program. New devices will no longer come with the ads, and there will be a software update that will remove them from customers’ existing devices as well.
According to Amazon, the company is removing the ads to better facilitate the use of fast unlocking technologies like facial recognition and fingerprint sensors (which were already making the lock screen somewhat obsolete). Customers will also now be able to customize the lock screen wallpaper on their Prime Exclusive phones, something that was previously blocked in order to save that space for advertisements.
The program first launched back in 2016 with the Motorola Moto G and the BLU R1 HD, both of which featured the lock screen ads. Like Amazon’s Kindle devices, users could opt out from the ads with an additional payment, although it varied from device to device. Since then, the program has expanded to include more devices from other manufacturers, including more premium devices from LG.
The net result is that the Prime Exclusive Phone program is a better deal than ever now. Amazon will continue to offer the phones for Prime members at discounted prices, without the annoying ads and offers clogging up your lock screen. The lack of ads will come at a cost through, with Phonescooper reporting that Amazon will be raising the cost of all Prime Exclusive phones by $20 starting tomorrow to go with the ad-free lock screen update.
Now, the only sacrifice users have to make for the discount will be Amazon’s preinstalled apps (which can’t be uninstalled) for things like Prime Video and Prime Music, and an Amazon Widget (which will still display ads and offers).
Update February 6th, 1:05pm: Added additional details about Amazon raising prices on Prime Exclusive phones and clarified the ability to remove ads prior to the update.