Amazon today said it would begin offering Prime members significant discounts on select unlocked Android smartphones, in exchange for the ability to pre-install Amazon apps and show customers more ads on the phones.

Right now the deal only applies to two smartphones — the new Motorola Moto G and the BLU R1 HD — neither of which is available yet in the US, but are expected to ship on July 12th. The lock screen ads are not dissimilar from the ads that appear on Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets with “special offers,” as Amazon calls them.

 But it’s the first time that Amazon has subsidized non-Amazon devices with its special offers ad platform, and it underscores Amazon’s commitment to selling its services — even if it means showing up in potentially obtrusive ways on inexpensive or commodity hardware. (Amazon didn’t show ads on its own Fire Phone, which was almost unanimously deemed a flop.)

 

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