The U.S. State Department did look at the iPad and Nook, but dismissed them in favor of the Kindle Touch -- offering the e-Reader-maker a multi-million dollar no-bid contract to ship the device overseas.
According to Dara Kerr, reporting on C-Net, the State Department did look at all the devices available, including iPad and the whole range of Kindles, and decided that only the Kindle Touch would fit the bill.
Theoretically, once the contract is beaten out, Amazon will provide 2,500 Kindle Touches preloaded with 50 titles each, at a cost to the State Department of $2.29 million (or about $163 per reader). This number, however, could grow because the government is looking to negotiate a contract that could last up to five years.
This would replace the previous system, which was to supply embassies with hardcover books, so it is more cost effective than it may seem at first glance.
There has also been a pilot program. Over the last year, the State Department bought 6,000 Kindles(costing roughly $985,000) to see how e-readers would work in lieu of hardcopy books. The program was a success because e-readers turned out to be more flexible, provide more content, and ultimately were cheaper. So, the government decided to expand the program.
And it was Amazon that got the nod.