Smartphones can be used for plenty of things other than information retrieval. Case in point: Amazon has released a new iPhone app aimed at college students. A fine-tuned version of its previous iPhone shopping app, Amazon Student will not only allow students to shop for textbooks and other products Amazon carries, but also let them resell items they already have though Amazon’s Trade-In program.
Students can use the iPhone’s camera to take pictures of the bar code of the items for a quick listing. Then they can print a shipping label, and Amazon will send them a gift card for the amount of the sale. Certainly a clever move on Amazon’s part, and another reason for college students to look to Amazon for more of their buying and selling needs (especially since Amazon offers its $79-a-year Amazon Prime service free to students).
Of course, this probably won’t work for e-books, but it still is bringing a lot of the benefits of electronic purchasing and selling to students’ pockets. This could help keep paper textbooks competitive with e-textbooks for a little while longer.