State Department cancels $16.5 million Amazon Kindle Touch contract

“The U.S Department of State has withdrawn plans to place a $16.5 million order on for its Kindle Touch devices along with content management, and logistics, stating that it intends to conduct additional market research and re-examine its requirements for the program,” John Ribeiro reports for IDG News Service.

“The Kindle was identified as the only product that met the department’s requirements, according to the Justification and Approval (J&A) for other than full and open competition,” Ribeiro reports. “Apple’s iPad was rejected because it fell under the tablet or computer category rather than as a single-function e-reader, and had additional features that “are not only unnecessary, but also present unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You cannot do additional market research when you never did any in the first place.

Related article:
U.S. State Department pays $6,600 each for Amazon Kindles that retail for $189 – June 11, 2012


  1. Me thinks they finally got wind of the iPad mini rumors and gasp!….. Thought it prudent to wait and compare it. Who would’ve thunk it? Someone with actual brains in government.

  2. “You cannot do additional market research when you never did any in the first place.”

    Au contraire. If you didn’t do any in the first place, then anything you do that is greater than that is “additional”.

      1. Only in macro-mathematics. At the quantum level you’d be surprised at some of the results that take upper dimensions into consideration.

        (Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m talking about!)

  3. This is what happens when you go to IT for decision. Some old fart (no gender intended) in management who doesn’t know shit about computers or technology, give IT the authority to dictate what people can and can’t use. The old fart’s in IT, that are soon on their way out on retirement, don’t want to make waves or haven’t got a clue about real technology over the past 10 years because nothing new has come out of MS. Well, except more security holes, crashes and incident reports. Hell, most of them don’t even have smart phones unless you count a goverment issued BB smart.
    Tell me I’m wrong.

    1. You are wrong, I doubt IT is behind this. You also clearly have a hard-on for IT, and a penchant for stereotyping.

      Not all IT operates like you describe. Many of the most restrictive IT traits come from experience (best practices) and the rules are rolled out to keep things running. Can’t have the whole place non-productive because you all decide the latest flash is what you need to kill time playing games, meanwhile it makes your computer crash over and over again, making you worthless and unable to do the tasks you are paid to do. Can’t have the place raided because you are all bit-torrenting up a storm. Just a few examples of IT protecting the business from it’s employees.

      Furthermore, bid-rigging is what we really have here, someone was trying too hard to get kindles, wrote an RFP that was too narrow, thus excluding all other vendors. It could have been personal bias, could have been a favor to a friend who sells kindles, could be that someone was given a “gift” to ensure the spec was written the way it was. Happens all the time, people are greedy, sneaky and driven to self-interests.

      1. Truth is right.

        IT workers are often trapped by outmoded corporate policies and SOPs that can’t change fast enough to keep pace with the leading edge of technology, and are unfortunately formed out of old corporate liaisons, operational complacency, and procurement “understandings”.

        IT workers are geeks, they want to lay hands on anything that’s devilish new, but higher-ups with low-life agendas stifle them and so they become either sullen or fall into line as mechanoids or true believers.

  4. iPads: “are not only unnecessary, but also present unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project.’”

    TOTAL BULLSHITE. iOS continues to celebrate having the single best mobile device security. But these gubmint dumdums didn’t do their homework, obviously. THIS is where I prefer actual PROFESSIONALS as opposed to gubming bureaucratic job filling units, which is all these dopes are worth.

  5. This sounds like the DOS messed up the J&A, not really Amazon’s fault (unless of course, there was greasing of the wheels – in which case I take it all back). I hate to be on Amazon’s side, but it sounds to me like DOS is just distributing books. Kindle is light, cheap and all it does is books, so it sounds like the correct device was chosen. iPad is a bit overkill for something like this.

    The way it was chosen however….

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.