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Look Out Stanza, Scroll Motion Bringing 1M+ Books, Magazines to iPhone


Print media isn’t dead, it’s just slowly becoming digital media. Which I guess would mean that it’s dying. Regardless, it’s good news for those of us who actually like using our iPhones as e-readers. And it’s good news for Scroll Motion, a company responsible for bringing lots of best-sellers to the iPhone platform via its Iceberg Reader titles. Those titles, until now, have each been published as standalone apps, much to the consternation of me, and others who have to wade through the tangled mess that is the App Store to locate the few gems.

With the advent of iPhone OS 3.0, it will begin offering its titles via one, centralized app (something which, I should point out, Stanza was able to do just fine before 3.0) thanks to in-app purchasing. And though they already have about 500 titles on offer, they have bigger plans for the 3.0 Iceberg Reader software. 2,000 times bigger, give or take.

During its part at the WWDC keynote today, Scroll Motion revealed its upcoming Iceberg Reader app, which will take advantage of Apple’s (s aapl) new in-app purchasing to offer subscriptions to more than 50 major magazines, and, eventually, over a million books. That’s a lot of books. During the demo, the one they used to show how purchasing works was priced at $9.99, which is on par with many of its current standalone offerings. It is more expensive, however, than the average book I buy via the Stanza app, though you’re actually going through an external content provider for those transactions, whereas with Iceberg you’ll be able to just use your iTunes account.


Scroll Motion also showed off plans to offer text books for sale for students, and then proceeded to show how it might use copy/paste to plagiarize their betters. Or maybe use properly cited quotes, depending on their moral bent.

I’m not sure I’ll switch to Iceberg just because it enables in-app purchasing, especially if prices still favor Stanza, but the sheer volume of content it seems to be bringing to the platform definitely excites me as a reader. I want choices, and I want them in one place, easily accessible without a lot of switching stores and digging around as is currently the case with Stanza. Hopefully Amazon (s amzn) follows suit with its newly acquired property and answers Scroll Motion with as much content, and maybe more subscription offers. It could easily leverage its Kindle relationship to make that happen. Unfortunately, it will never give over purchasing control to Apple, so buying in-app will probably stay the exclusive province of independent operators like Scroll Motion.

10 Responses to “Look Out Stanza, Scroll Motion Bringing 1M+ Books, Magazines to iPhone”

  1. I’m a small publisher and am curious how Scrollmotion will find 1 million titles. They seem to have very few now, and there’s no publishing information on their Web site, or any information as to how they acquire titles. So, I will believe it when I see it. Amazon’s Kindle store supposedly has the largest selection of electronic titles by far, and their catalog is about 300,000 titles. Scrollmotion’s prices seem more expensive than Amazon, too.

  2. Peter Norman

    Why no mention of eReader? Its been available on the iPhone longer and made it possible to buy and manage ebooks long before Stanza had a deal for commercial DRM’d ebooks. Stanza is remarkable too, of course – it’s support for so many digital formats is amazing.

    Since Kindle for iPhone is not available outside the United States I’m looking forward to Icerberg’s book prices and the magazines they’ll offer.

  3. Bruce Foote

    I used Stanza and was very happy until Kindle for Iphone became available. I have found that for books that are out in paperback, the digital book from Stanza is reasonable in price, but for the latest books, Kindle is more than 50% less than Stanza. I am doing much more business now with Amazon.

  4. And let’s not forget iPhone Bookshelf…it has in-app access to which is the store for Baen Books (among other publishers)…and Baen books are usually 5 bucks a piece…oh, and you have access to baen’s free library too :)

    I like Stanza…it just sucks if you already own a bunch of ebooks, like I do.