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Summary:

That new Sony Reader looks pretty sweet, but there’s an unexpected ebook reader that is far bigger.  That ebook reader has even surpassed the much ballyhooed Amazon Kindle, another dedicated ebook reader with a much larger distribution than the Sony.  What is the device that has […]

StanzaThat new Sony Reader looks pretty sweet, but there’s an unexpected ebook reader that is far bigger.  That ebook reader has even surpassed the much ballyhooed Amazon Kindle, another dedicated ebook reader with a much larger distribution than the Sony.  What is the device that has achieved a bigger status than the Sony or Amazon devices?  The iPhone, of course.  Now before you issue a big raspberry over that news I will jump in and say I can easily believe that.  I am a big consumer of ebooks and I consume them on my iPhone.  Sure the screen is very small compared to those "real" ebook readers but as I’ve stated before the iPhone is always with me so it wins in the ebook reading department. My ebook reader of choice is the eReader software on the iPhone but recently another reader was released for free in the Apple App Store and that one is changing things.

Stanza is a free ebook reader that handles a lot of different ebook formats and it’s become a hugely popular program. Forbes is reporting that over 395,000 copies of Stanza have been downloaded since its release just a few months ago and over 5,000 copies are downloaded every day.  Since Forbes estimates Amazon will sell 380,000 Kindles in all of 2008 that makes the iPhone with Stanza the biggest ebook reader around.  Throw in my favorite eReader on the iPhone and it’s not even close.  It’s important to note that the ebooks used in Stanza are not paid ebooks, they are free where the Kindle’s and Sony Reader’s are largely paid books.  So are eReader’s ebooks (paid) but I’ll bet the iPhone is still bigger than the other two readers.  And they’re supposed to be the most distributed readers in the world.

  1. Shouldn’t we also check out how many copies of Microsoft reader have been downloaded to WM/PocketPC devices over the years? I know I’ve read many books on my PDAs.

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  2. Hmm..

    Downloads of free iPhone apps don’t really translate into regular use (I’ve a few that have never been used).

    I used read some books using MS Reader on mobile devices and have read a bit on the iPod Touch but I feel my Sony Reader is much easier on the eyes – as techies we’re need a break from backlighting….

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  3. This is precisely why I rarely come here anymore. Kevin reports about a great looking ebook reader from Sony which might finally get me to buy one and James only takes 3 HOURS to hype an Apple product to use instead of it.

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  4. The source article makes some flawed assumptions or inappropriate comparisons. And as was mentioned by James, it’s not like you can buy books for Stanza.

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  5. what he ^ said

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  6. Any idea what the percentage of those who downloaded it used it more than once? I’d guess less than half used it more than a couple times.

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  7. Stanza is a fantastic tool which allows me to read free books, and so much better than other ereader I used in the past. Most importantly, it allows me to read books in non-Latin alphabets, which a lot of readers out there simply cannot do. Plus, 95% of the stuff I read is free books — why on earth would I pay $15-20 for a proprietary DRM’d ebook? I have to agree with James on this one, proprietary ereaders like Sony’s still have a long way to go to compete with Stanza.

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  8. Sorry but the iphone is a mediocore reading device. I read two books on my ipod touch and while yes it is convienent to carry around with it is not ideal and not a replacement for real books.

    I’ve seen the Sony e-reader and I don’t believe that is a replacement for real books either although it is miles ahead of a device like an iphone.

    The iphone can also play movies and tv shows and while I occasionaly use my ipod touch to watch a bit of movies and or watch a tv show it is NOT a replacement for eiher a laptop or a home entertainment system.

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  9. Windows Mobile powns Iphone when it comes to reading. uBook FTW

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  10. It is simply amazing the amount of applications already available in the Apple App Store. Yes, a lot are junk, but hundreds are not and they are adding many more every week! I think the App Store is going to end up making the iPhone the absolute King of all phones. I noticed all the other makers are now trying desperately to emulate Apple’s awesome store but it may already be too late. I am still in shock how Apple, having never made a phone, is totally punking all those other makers who had years to supposedly perfect their cell phones. There must be a lot of very bad engineers out there to let Apple steal their thunder so very easily. LOL

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