Amazon shipping new lower-priced, ad-supported Kindle with Special Offers ahead of May 3 schedule

SAN FRANCISCO , April 27, 2011 () – Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday that it began shipping its newest Kindle e-reader — a lower-priced, ad-supported version called Kindle with Special Offers — ahead of schedule.

Amazon began shipping the device Wednesday, almost a week ahead of the original shipping date of May 3 that the online retailer set when it announced the new Kindle earlier this month.

The Kindle with Special Offers appears identical to the current Kindle. But, at $114, it's $25 cheaper than the lowest-priced Kindle, and it includes advertisements at the bottom of its home page and on its screen savers.

Amazon has steadily lowered the Kindle's price since it released the first version in 2007. It sold for $399.

This is the first time the device includes ads, which help reduce its retail price.

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