Zephyrus of the Anemoi

.the ramblings of a radman.

I heard the news today, oh boy…

Lexcycle, makers of the amazingly awesome iPhone app Stanza, have been bought by Amazon.

I’m going to let that sink in for a moment, as you might already know why this is important. If you don’t, I’ll tell you shortly.

Go ahead, take your time.

All ready? Good. Stanza is the most popular ebook reader for the iPhone and easily one of the most awesome apps ever created for Apple’s gorgeous little do-everything device. Amazon is the creator of the Kindle ebook reader, a piece of hardware that competes with the iPhone in the same way that all other handheld devices do: poorly. The purchase of Lexcycle by Amazon has the potential to break a lot of hearts. But there’s also a chance for the iPhone to gain a much larger library of books in a short period of time.

There are two scenarios here.

1) Amazon sees Stanza on the iPhone as a serious threat to the livelihood of the Kindle. Jeff Bezos, megalomaniac that he is, orders his minions to come up with a solution to this “problem”. Being creative types, they naturally come up with the idea to just buy Lexcycle rather than innovate </sarcasm>. Amazon now decides to incorporate any tech from Stanza they can into their Kindle app for iPhone and the Kindle device itself and quietly kills Stanza.

2) Amazon sees Stanza on the iPhone as a serious threat to the livelihood of the Kindle. Jeff Bezos, drunken shitmonger that he is, drunk-dials the lead programmer for Lexcycle and begs him for inspiration on how to make the Kindle better. Lexcycle decides instead to sell itself to Amazon for fuck-tons of money. Amazon now decides to pin its future on Stanza for iPhone as an alternative to selling the Kindle (something they’ll still do because they have a fragile ego). Stanza continues to thrive on the iPhone and Kindle for iPhone dies a quiet death before the Kindle itself also ceases to exist several years later.

As you can see, iPhone owners that prefer to read content digitally stand to get seriously screwed here, but also have a chance to win big if Kindle books can be purchased through the app itself. However, if Amazon strips ePub support from the app in favor of exclusively supporting the Kindle format, it will only be a matter of time before another reader rises up to take Stanza’s place. It will be interesting to see what happens from here.

Download this article as an e-book

4 Comments

  1. Scenario 1 seems…hmmm….what’s the word….oh yeah! MICROSOFT

  2. Scenario 1 seems…hmmm….what’s the word….oh yeah! MICROSOFT

  3. You said it, not me. :-D

    I’ve been reading some discussions about this whole deal and it sounds as though Amazon has purchased a number of other companies and supported their business models, rather than destroying them. To be fair though, none but CDNow were ever actual competitors and it’s safe to say that CDNow was absorbed into Amazon.com rather than existing separately. Time will tell, but I really hope they don’t try to force iPhone users to buy their DRM’ed crap.

  4. You said it, not me. :-D

    I’ve been reading some discussions about this whole deal and it sounds as though Amazon has purchased a number of other companies and supported their business models, rather than destroying them. To be fair though, none but CDNow were ever actual competitors and it’s safe to say that CDNow was absorbed into Amazon.com rather than existing separately. Time will tell, but I really hope they don’t try to force iPhone users to buy their DRM’ed crap.

Comments are closed.