U.S. Gov Buys 2,500 Kindles, Finds Nook, Sony Reader, iPad, Kobo Not Suitable for Job

UPDATE: NextGov has backtracked on its article. According to an updated version of the report, the State Department has not yet agreed to any contract. The contract under consideration proposes spending $2.3 million for 2,500 Kindles in the first year and up to $16.5 million for 35,000 in total. In the past, State has purchased 6,000 Kindles for $980,000 at about $163 per device, according to the updated report. Digital Book World regrets publishing the below erroneous information.

According to a government procurement database, the State Department has purchased 2,500 Kindles for $16.5 million from Amazon in a no-bid contract, reports Nextgov.com.

At $6,600 per Kindle, the price tag seems high. According to government documents, Amazon will also be responsible for shipping and labeling the Kindles and doing a laundry list of things, like maintaining a 3G network and public-facing online bookstore, that it already does. The State Department will be given control of the content on the devices.

According to a government document obtained by Nextgov.com, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Sony Reader and the Kobo e-reader were not suitable for the job due to issues with text-to-speech, battery life and global wi-fi capabilities. iPads were found unsuitable because of security risks and usability issues.

The project will distribute the devices to educational centers where users will be exposed to U.S. culture and content through the Kindles.

Read more at Nextgov.com. Hat-tip to infoDOCKET.


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