Amazon.com this morning released a new “Student App” for iPhone, aiming to connect college students to the Amazon.com catalog even when they’re browsing the stacks of their college bookstores.
It’s the latest broadside in an ongoing battle between the Seattle company and college bookstores.
The app comes with a barcode scanner for checking prices, offering quick access to the Amazon.com database for buying books. Students will also be able to scan items they no longer need to see if Amazon accepts them for trade-in. The company says it will pay the shipping and offer a gift card for the value of the trade-in.
A link inside the app also promotes the $39/year Amazon Student program, a discounted version of the Amazon Prime program, which offers free two-day shipping and other benefits to people who pay an annual membership fee.
Amazon has been sparring with the National Association of College Stores over the company’s college book promotions, and the language the company uses to describe the discounts and buyback terms it offers for college books.