The US State Department has been scouting around for a device to use in overseas language-education programs, and the iPad has failed to meet its lofty criteria.
In fact, the iPad lost out on the $16.5 million contract to none other than the humble Amazon Kindle Touch.
The project demanded a device with international 3G capabilities, text-to-speech functionality, extended battery life (we’re talking way more than 10 hours use), and a "secure, centrally managed content distribution and management platform.”
The State Department explains: “Although the Apple iPad offers features that meet many of the requirements of this project it falls under the tablet/computer segment versus a single function e-reader device.
“The 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.”
The Amazon Kindle Touch, with its E Ink display, offers up to two months use on a single charge (reading for 30 minutes per day with Wi-Fi off). Cripes.