Leading iPhone eBook Reader Stanza Acquired by Amazon



People who like to read books on their iPhones (including myself) will be pleased to hear that Amazon (s amzn) has grown tired of playing catch-up with Stanza on the platform and instead bought out the much smaller company behind the app, Lexcycle. The Stanza makers are reportedly “very excited” by the development, which is understandable considering the gobs of cash Amazon no doubt threw their way. I’d be jazzed, too.

While it looks like the Stanza devs will continue to work on the app under the Amazon banner, and they claim that no major changes to the app will result from the purchase, Amazon no doubt has big plans for the platform, which it will likely integrate with its existing iPhone app for Kindle titles. Hopefully they don’t just shut it down in favor of their own app, or rebrand it, because I think the Stanza name at this point has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of iPhone apps.

This is definitely a smart play for Amazon, no matter what route they choose to take. They’ve seen how successful the iPhone has been as an eBook reader, and they, like us, have no doubt seen the growing rumors that point towards a larger, tablet-type device coming out of Cupertino in the near future. Even though it’s unlikely that such a device will be marketed primarily as an eBook reader, if it runs iPhone OS and therefore supports app store programs, users will want to use it as one, regardless of whether or not it has e-ink capabilities. In other words, they’ve seen the writing on the wall, and they’ve obviously decided that if you can’t beat ’em, it’s best to acquire a company already in that space and join ’em. Good choice, Amazon.



First Amazon killed one potential rival with money.

Secondly Amazon got one powerful tool.

Finally EBook time is coming without doubt.


First Amazon buy Mobipocket and discontinue its support for Symbian based phones. Kindle uses a special variant of Mobipocket. Will the same occur to Stanza?


I’m hoping an announcement that Stanza users will be able to purchase Kindle titles is forthcoming… sooner rather than later.


So now as of end of April we see that Amazon has snapped up Stanza and says they will let Stanza run independent of Kindle. We’ll wait and see how long that lasts. What does an independent author of an eBook do if he/she wants their own iPhone app? Whose eBook reader can they use?

The Toy Lounge of St. Paul MN – http://thetoylounge.com/ebooks – creates iPhone apps for eBooks, and can incorporate the Toy Lounge eBook Reader into each custom eBook application.


Amazon is getting both technology and book selection as well as eliminating future competition at the same time. It’s probably a smart move for the company. The impact on consumers is less apparent. There are still plenty of options and exciting projects on ebooks out there.

While I am very interested in Kindle, I am still waiting for these books to be DRM free. It’s just so much easier and “thought-free” when I don’t have to worry about DRM and how I use something. I am more than willing to pay for it, just don’t want to be restricted when it comes to using digital media. Sony’s reader seems hopeful in this regard.

Speaking of DRM-free, Amazon does have an awesome MP3 store that is DRM-free with a large selection and often good prices. It would be nice if they had the same thing with books.

On the note about Amazon, I recently came across an interesting table that details the discounts on Amazon (Thanks to PC World Magazine).

It is at http://www.uberi.com

Maybe someone will find it useful too.

Patrick Santana

We should expected a good integration with Amazon Kindle titles.

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