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 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.