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You told us: You definitely won't buy a phone with ads if it were cheaper

This poll wasn't even close, as 90% of respondents said 'no.'

Published onAugust 1, 2022

Xiaomi MIUI Ads in local video gallery

We’ve seen system ads on smartphones for a while now, as manufacturers seek to make a profit (or a bigger profit) while still delivering good hardware. Major OEMs like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Realme have all played this game.

However, we wondered whether consumers would be willing to buy a phone with ads if it were cheaper (e.g. 20% cheaper). We posed this question to our readers and they gave us a firm answer.

Would you buy a phone with ads if it were cheaper?


Our poll went live on July 28, and almost 1,500 votes were counted until now. The result? Well, a massive 90.03% of polled readers said they wouldn’t buy a phone with ads if it were cheaper. In other words, the “no” camp won by a huge landslide.

Comments suggest that polled readers are simply fed up with ads on their handsets, or that the ad-supported phone would need to be free at the very least. One reader also feels that Amazon can get away with ad-supported tablets and e-readers because these gadgets aren’t used nearly as often as a smartphone.

Related: When unavoidable ads appear in a product I paid for, I stop using it

Meanwhile, just 9.97% of respondents said they’d be interested in an ad-supported phone if it were cheaper (we mooted a 20% discount). Two reader comments supporting this stance suggest they’d go ahead and buy a cheaper, ad-supported phone if there was a way to (unofficially) disable the ads.

For what it’s worth, another reader rightfully notes that Amazon sold cheaper phones with ads years ago before killing off this program. So it definitely seems like the industry has moved on from this approach.


  • Richard Quist: No. No….and, NO. The strategy may be similar to what Amazon has done with e-readers and cheap tablets, but the way phones are used is vastly different from a Kindle… most people might pick up their reader at most a handful of times each day, and the same holds true for a tablet… those same people are likely looking at their phones a handful of times each hour, if not more.
  • Lex1020: Absolutely not. If I’m paying for something you’d better not be showing me ads. That’s the reason I’m paying. It’s the reason I refuse to subscribe to Hulu
  • Brian Simmons: If I could remove the ads easily, then yes. Otherwise NO WAY. I’ve done this with all of my Amazon Tablets and it works great. (The Amazon tablets don’t even require that you root the device to remove the ads).
  • DanSparrow: Sure, why not? If you buy bad hardware, nothing you can do, but software? There’s always a way to cheat it and people always find ways to block or remove ads. Not worried if I had to do some flashing to the phone, not my first rodeo.
  • cocogoat main: I’d rather use NO PHONE than a FREE phone with ads.
  • Timothy: Hard pass. This is the exact reason I will never buy another Amazon Fire device.
  • Kossay Zemzem: So I save 20% on a one time purchase so that the company gets to profit from my device as long as it’s working ? Absolutely no,thank you, the idea disgusts me. We already have enough ads everywhere go on the net. I want my personal devices to be my personal space where I can focus and escape the never ending advertising everywhere else.
  • Craig S.: Amazon actually sold Prime phones from Motorola, Nokia and LG with ads on their lock screen and notification bar just a few years ago for a discounted price. Needless to say? They eventually removed most all of it with app updates and discontinued the program.
  • deltatux: Oh hell no!
  • Drone9: If the phone is free, yes

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