Top iPhone ebook reader Stanza acquired by Amazon

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.

Comments (3)

  1. Jason Kemp

    Amazon have a customer focussed business where the jury is still out on formats so this is a smart move by them. Having recently got my first iPod Touch I can see the advantages in having fast and easy access to written content without having to fire up the computers.

    I am using my own wireless connection as that removes the expensive data plan options that have slowed this market down.

    Apart from anything else being able to hit wikipedia or other sources while simultaneously watching TV or doing something else makes reading on an iPod very easy.

    The old what business are you in question for Amazon has been defined to take into account the seismic shifts in delivery of written content.

    I also like the multi-purpose idea of being able to access kindle based content via an iPod for example.

    As they say – watch this space. Somewhere I have a (mostly) unread copy of the Gutenberg Galaxy – a book about the death of books but as many Twains might say rumours of the that have been exaggerated.

  2. morgan ebook

    agree, having fast and easy access to written content is great mainly for people who travel a lot for the business.

  3. Pingback: Bluefire eReader app spells great news for indies

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