The U.S. State Department has terminated its agreement to purchase 2,500 Kindle e-book readers from Amazon today.
The federal department initially forged a contract with Amazon to use the e-readers in English language education programs overseas back in June, as VentureBeat previously reported. Amazon won the $16.5 million no-bid contract over other e-reader/tablet companies because of its willingness to meet the department’s stringent requirements. In doing so, it beat out Apple’s iPad, which the department said had insufficient security and media consumption capabilities as well as a short battery life. (Of course, the iPad is a tablet, so its battery life can’t reasonably compete with the likes of e-ink readers).
“The Department of State intends to conduct additional market research and re-examine its requirements for this program,” the federal program’s revised document now states in regards to the terminated Amazon contract.
This could mean that the state is taking a look at its priorities regarding tablet reader devices. E-book readers are nice, not to mention cost-effective, if all you want is an Internet-connected tool for reading. Beyond that, e-readers aren’t much of an educational tool — especially when compared with the iPad.
Given Apple’s history of winning educational contracts, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the State Department wants to take another look at the iPad before it forks over several million dollars.
Via The Verge
Photo via VentureBeat