Amazon is hoping to get the Kindle into the hands of students to bite into Apple's iPad market. - 

Amazon wants to bite into Apple’s iPad market, particularly in the classroom. This week the company launched a campaign to get more Kindles into schools around the country.

Amazon’s new online tool Whispercast makes it much easier for schools and businesses to manage hundreds of Kindle e-readers at once. Plus at $70-$80 a pop, Kindles are cheap compared to an iPad. 

That, says Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva is a winning combination. “When everybody has access to the technology because its simple and cost effective, the idea takes hold,” Silva says. 

That’s certainly what Amazon executives are hoping. Right now, Apple has a lock on the tablet market in schools. But as schools move away from desktop computers and embrace tablets, thereby pushing up tablet demand, Amazon has the opportunity to capture new customers. 

Senior analyst Sarah Rotman Epps with Forrester Research says it makes sense for tech companies to get their products to kids. “Students are their customers of the future,” she says. “And if they can provide them a great experience when they are young, then they’ll have a leg up on competitors in the future.” 

Rotman Epps says Amazon’s Kindle is a viable alternative to the iPad, but she doubts it can compete with iPad sales.


Follow Dan Gorenstein at @dmgorenstein