Amazon is hoping to get the Kindle into the hands of students to bite into Apple's iPad market.
Amazon is hoping to get the Kindle into the hands of students to bite into Apple's iPad market. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

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.

 

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Dan Gorenstein at @dmgorenstein