“The State Department awarded a $16.5 million contract to Amazon to stock designated libraries and U.S.-friendly educational centers around the world with 2,500 Kindle e-Readers, procurement databases show,” Dawn Lim reports for Nextgov. “The contract includes 50 titles, a secure central management system and round-the-clock help desk services.”

“Kindles were seen as the only appropriate devices for this contract, which was not opened for competitive bidding,” Lim reports. “The devices will aid those seeking to study English and learn about America.”

“Competing devices such as the Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader Daily and Kobe e-Reader were unsuitable as they couldn’t offer the same the text-to-speech function, battery life and global Wi-Fi connectivity, according to a government document,” Lim reports. “The Apple iPads offered unnecessary functions that presented ‘unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project,’ the documents said. iPads also fell short on battery life requirements and would not allow the State Department the same control over the dissemination of content, the notice added.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: Heritage.org. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “HotinPlaya” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, who’s surprised?

iOS 6’s “single app mode” on iPad 2’s would save the State Department beaucoup dollars, wouldn’t it?