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.
Over the last year, the State Department bought 6,000 Kindles costing roughly $985,000 in a pilot program 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 believes that Amazon is the best option.
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.
Whilst other eReading devices remain popular, particularly the Nook it seems as if the writing is now on the wall, or rather the eInk screen - the eReader device war is over and the Kindle is victorious