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State Dept. Cancels $16.5M Kindle Contract 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-ereading-for-you dept.
itwbennett writes "The U.S. Department of State will be canceling a $16.5 million Amazon order that included 2,500 Kindle Touch e-readers, 50 pieces of content, and 'required provision of a secure, centrally managed content distribution and management platform.' The department said that it will be re-examining its requirements for the program. Those requirements had called for a single-function device with text-to-speech, a 'battery life of no less than about 8 hours of continuous reading or approximately 7.5 hours of video playback,' and free Wi-Fi. The Kindle was the only project that met that original set of requirements."
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State Dept. Cancels $16.5M Kindle Contract

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  • sucks to be Amazon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRealQuestor (1750940) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:32AM (#41045049)
    wonder who they ticked off this time
  • Re:Spec'd the Kindle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kenh (9056) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:40AM (#41045099) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, on the "back" of a contract for 2,500 Kindles? What kind of "payoff" do you think they'd get for negotiating a 2-3,000 piece contract for an item the gov't would by at or below retail?

    I think their real goal was to try and avoid the political stigma of a set of requirements that would lead them to buying a couple thousand iPads (while being good/great devices have so many additional uses that their purchase could easily be attacked politically)...

  • Re:Spec'd the Kindle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:54PM (#41046657) Journal

    Oddly, The Kindle doesn't meet the requirements, either. The Kindle and Kindle Touch don't do video, and the Kindle Fire doesn't do 3G...

    Also, the requirements are not specific to Amazon - B&N has devices which match the requirements as fully as Amazon does, including the 3G download requirement. If they wanted to force Amazon to be the only supplier, they would've had to require that the device allow web browsing over the 3G link.

  • Nothing sneaky here. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:05PM (#41046751)

    Nothing sneaky here with Amazon being the only e-reader selected. From the actual article, the iPad was/is not classified as an e-reader, but is a tablet/computer and the bid was for e-readers. The nook is not mentioned, but the requirement for text to speech would have eliminated it at the time the specs were created. Most other ereaders at the time didn't support that, either.

    Now some may want to arugue that it was intentional to only allow the kindle, but a much more likely scenario is that the device selected needs to accomodate people with visual impairment.

    Nothing sneaky here with Amazon being the sole provider. On the otherhand, it if they end up buy 2,500 Windows Surface RT at twice the price, then, that should really be looked into. Because, like the iPad, it's not an ereader, either.

  • by Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:06PM (#41046775)

    wonder who they ticked off this time

    Eh, someone up the food chain realized that they weren't buying ipads, and those are what the cool kids have. Cue the story about them opening a contract with apple to do the same exact thing, only for double or triple the cost.

    They're doing that here in California. Our state budget left the rails and took out every major city, and we're letting go of teachers left and right. But we found money to buy 5 ipads for every classroom from one of those buckets where the money can only be spent one way. No integration, no IT strategy...just 5 paperweights with a quiz on them about a book, and you have to transcribe the results from the ipad to a piece of paper when you're done, as there is no rollup.

    I just want to know what person sits in what office in the state organization that agreeably says "Oh, you want to donate money to our schools? Yeah, well those ipads would be pretty much useless...feel like funding something critical thats being cut or how about we buy cheaper tablets, get 20 per class instead of 5, and get someone to do a nice integration job with our curriculum?

    We missed a prime opportunity last year when HP (a california company) decided to get out of the touchpad business and sold tens of thousands of them for below cost. Someone from the state should have gotten them to donate them, make more so every kid could have one, and build the software and support infrastructure with that. Replace all textbooks and teaching materials with the pad. Give HP tax credits so its worth it for them to take it on. Hell, it took the NFL no time at all to switch from playbooks and lots of pieces of paper to a tablet solution. If they can do it, I'm pretty sure HP and the state of california could have done it.

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