Laura Hazard Owen for paidContent:
On Monday, I reported that the U.S. State Department was signing a $16.5 million agreement with Amazon to provide Kindles, content and service for overseas English language programs. Yesterday I was able to get on the phone with State spokesman Philippe Reines, who explained more about how the program will work and clarified some things that aren’t included in the available public documents. Some questions remain unanswered, and I’ve listed those at the end of this post.
Some have wondered why the State Department is considering Amazon Kindles for this project instead of Apple iPads. The answer actually goes back to Monday, when the State Department explained that the iPad’s “additional features are not only unnecessary, but also present unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project. Critically, the Apple iPad falls short on two requirements: the centrally managed platform for registration and content delivery, and battery life.”