Amazon has purchased Lexcycle, the makers of the free iPhone and iPod Touch e-book reader “Stanza.” Since its release, Stanza has been an extremely popular application, garnering nearly 500,000 downloads in just the first 3 months it was available on iTunes. Fans of Stanza often claimed, and rightfully so, that the app turns any iPhone into a Kindle.
Looking to get in on the iPhone market, Amazon released a free “Kindle for iPhone” app in March that lets users download Kindle books from Amazon’s vast library and then transfer them to either their iPhone or iPod Touch. As it stands now, Stanza is the second most popular ebook reader on iTunes behind, you guessed it, Amazon’s Kindle app.
It remains unclear what Amazon plans to do with Lexcycle and Stanza, but it seems pretty clear that Amazon is staking out its ebook territory with gusto. Stanza has long been praised for its great UI and customization options, while Amazon’s selection of titles simply can’t be matched by anyone. Perhaps getting the brains behind both apps on the same page and in the same room is a smart move.
In the meantime, don’t expect to see any changes to Stanza. Lexcycle writes in their blogpost,
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.
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