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Amazon is offering its Prime customers discounted Android smartphones that come with its own apps and advertising features pre-installed.

Adverts featuring deals and product recommendations will appear on the lock screens of the unlocked phones as notifications, and will also accompany notifications from other sources such as social media sites and emails.

Amazon said it will collect data focusing around users’ responses to certain adverts, including which ones they open and whether sales are generated from their visit to an advertiser’s site. It said no personal data collected through this process will be shared with third-party advertisers.

Adverts will be from a range of companies rather than exclusively from Amazon and will appear as frequently as the company chooses.

Though customers are effectively being given the choice between adverts and the same or similar phone for a higher price, by taking the deal they could be hindering their user experience.

Furthermore, a range of Amazon apps will be installed on the phone before use. Although users can delete from their screens, they will remain permanently on the phone.

Amazon Prime members can currently choose between two models from companies BLU and Motorola.

Laura Orvidas, vice president of consumer electronics for Amazon.com, said: “Customers love the freedom of unlocked phones—it’s the fastest growing category within cell phones on Amazon.com—so we set out to find a way to make them even more affordable for our Prime members.

“We currently offer low prices supported by lockscreen offers and ads on our Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers, and they’ve been a hit—in fact, the vast majority of customers choose the lower-priced option. Now we’re lowering prices in a similar way on new, unlocked smartphones, working with two of our best-selling brands, BLU and Motorola.” The scheme is about to be launched in the US. Amazon has not said whether it would come to the UK.

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