Amazon has acquired Lexcycle, the developer of top iPhone ebook reader Stanza. The three-person Texas company announced today that it become an Amazon-owned company but plans to continue its current path with product development.
Stanza’s COO Neelan Choksi will be in New Zealand shortly, keynoting the Digital Publishing Forum’s Future of the Book conference scheduled for June 24-25 in Auckland.
Stanza has become a hot property since it launched as the first ebook reading application for Apple’s iPhone. Less than a year old, it is one of its most downloaded applications in Apple’s App Store.
Stanza has been the talk of the ebook industry in recent months, something that Amazon would have been very aware of. In recognition of just how important the iPhone and smartphone market is becoming, Amazon released its own Kindle application for the iPhone just a month ago. The latest move to acquire Stanza is yet another example of how pragmatic Amazon is in its approach to this market. Basically, despite the proprietary nature of the Kindle system, Amazon is clearly not wed to a format in the way, for example, that Apple is. It appears to believe, very cleverly, that it needs to deliver its products and services to customers in whatever format the customer chooses rather than trying to convert customers to a particular system.
No doubt this thinking will also extend to media generated using Adobe’s content system, too. Adobe is a company in an increasingly strong position in ebook production and distribution. Stanza was an early supporter of Adobe’s mobile PDF and plans to add support for it in a future release as well as support for Adobe’s Content Server DRM. Along with Stanza’s imminent move to other platforms, in particular Google’s Android, Amazon looks like it will be covering all the bases with market leading platforms.