Just a short update on a bit of breaking news: Amazon has purchased Lexcycle. Even if you’re not familiar with Lexcycle, you might recognize their Stanza product. It’s the e-book reading platform we’ve previously reviewed for the iPhone, and it stacked up very well against our long-time favorite, eReader. Lexcycle says:
“We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition. Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read ebooks from our many content partners. We look forward to offering future products and services that we hope will resonate with our passionate readers.”
At this point, I’m still mulling over the reasons for, and the potential impacts of, the purchase.
Amazon already has a start on bringing e-book content to handsets thanks to their Kindle for iPhone application. That software reads Kindle content and synchronizes your last read location with a Kindle. Clearly, Amazon has a solution there. They do intend to expand their “WhisperSync” technology to other devices, but they don’t need Stanza for that.
Lexcycle also offers a desktop client for reading content both on PCs and Macs, so Amazon can leverage that. Interestingly, the Lexcycle mobile software works with protected eReader titles, so I wonder how that plays into all of this; with an Amazon application you can now buy content from someone other than Amazon. Stanza can also read EPUB files, which is a XML-based format that many in the digital publishing world are trying to adopt as a standard. Might this help Amazon make the move to EPUB?