Amazon has purchased Lexcycle, the company that developed the free iPhone eBook reader Stanza. The software is widely seen as a rival to Amazon's own Kindle application. Stanza provides free access to over 100,000 books in ePub format, which Amazon's Kindle does not support.
Details such as the cost of the acquisition were not revealed by either company. Over one million copies of Stanza were downloaded by the end of last year. Amazon's Kindle iPhone app is free, however users must pay for content. The Kindle 2 electronic reader is now priced at $349.
Lexcycle issued the following statement, "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.”
Regarding the purchase, an Amazon representative said, "It's very early days for ebooks and we believe there is a lot of innovation ahead of us. Lexcycle is a smart, innovative company and we look forward to working with them to innovate on behalf of readers."Lexcycle is also working with Adobe to develop open standards for eBook cataloging.