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iPhone's Stanza surpasses Amazon Kindle numbers

updated 04:10 pm EDT, Thu October 2, 2008

Stanza vs. Amazon Kindle

A book-reading app for the iPhone is proving to be more popular than Amazon's own dedicated e-book hardware, Forbes observes. Stanza, a free app which lets users download public-domain books to their iPhones, is currently believed to have been downloaded over 395,000 times, with approximately 5,000 more copies being distributed daily, according to developer Lexcycle. Banking firm Citigroup, meanwhile, is predicting that the Amazon Kindle will only have sold 380,000 units in 2008, despite having been available the entire year.

The Kindle is however said to be a niche device dedicated almost exclusively to reading, with a larger screen that nevertheless consumes less power, produces less eye strain, and does not drain its batteries as fast as an iPhone. It also offers free cellular Internet through Sprint's EVDO network, which limits the Kindle to the US. Any iPhone around the world can download Stanza, as long as it can reach the App Store.

Lexcycle says it eventually intends to imitate the Kindle to a certain degree, selling books through Stanza while splitting revenue with publishers. Deals with several major publishers are expected to be announced around the turn of 2009.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Yikes

    I really like Stanza, it had a low "barrier to entry" at $5 or whatever. I haven't tried the Kindle, because there's a huge investment involved.

    Now, if Stanza starts selling content, will it be a store inside the store?

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not surprised

    I'm not surprised considering the cost and popularity of the two devices as well as their capabilities.

  1. bogmonster

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How 'bout usage?

    All these downloads of an iphone app are great, but is the software actually being used? It's nothing to piss away $5 on an app and discovering it's hopeless.

    Committing to a dedicated device takes a little more guts and cash, even it's better suited to the use.

    Really, how many people would enjoy reading a full book if you could only read a couple of paragraphs at a time, looking through something the size of your credit card?

    Novelty wears off after a couple of pages, but you've only wasted $5, right? Stanza is making a killing from this dollar-store mentality.

    Nothing against the product or the devs, I just don't think the phone's the right product for the use.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    $5? Worthless? ...Really?

    That's funny. I just downloaded Stanza for free today.

    And while it may not be perfect, as a surgical resident, it is nice to have literature on hand to read during down time without worrying about library overdue fees.

    I may not have BOUGHT my iPhone to be an e-book reader, but having that capacity is certainly an added bonus.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Love it

    I use Stanza all the time for quick reads while waiting places. The desktop transfer option is gloriously cool as well.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Stanza free (for now)

    Stanza and eReader are free (though Stanza will be going up to $15 once it gets out of beta). Bookshelf is $10, and very nearly worth it (definitely worth it if the impending upgrade fixes the problems it's supposed to). There's another e-book app out there, some sort of text reader, that's $5, but I've never tried it.All these applications can sync e-books direct to the iPhone/Pod from remote websites (in fact, since there's no conduit for placing app-usable files on a non-jailbroken iPhone, that's the only way you can put books on it): Stanza from Feedbooks (all freebies), eReader from eReader or Fictionwise sites, and Bookshelf from Baen Webscriptions. And you can buy the books in those last three sites using nothing more than the phone-or-pod's built-in browser.As for the smallness of the screen: it's funny to hear people declaiming over how nobody would want to read books on a screen that small. If it weren't for a screen that small (smaller, in fact, and with no color and half the resolution), commercial e-books would not be where they were today. It's a little hard to remember for a lot of people, especially young'uns, but ten years ago reading e-books was all the rage on the Palm Pilot. In fact, e-reading was essentially one of the Palm Pilot's big killer apps (and one of few that lasted for any length of time—anyone remember that PayPal was originally a service meant to let you "beam money" between Palms by infra-red? That sure died quickly). Everyone was talking about it, and it led to the formation of companies like Peanut Press and Fictionwise—both of which are still around to this day (though Peanut, now eReader, is now owned by Fictionwise). And through a long succession of failed attempts at e-reading devices—PDAs that were larger and cost more but didn't do as much as a Palm, often saddled with proprietary book formats—people have continued reading Fictionwise and eReader-nee-Palm Digital Media-nee-Peanut Press books on Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs.Ten years they've been doing it, and screens have improved considerably since that time. The iPhone/iPod Touch's screen is one of the best yet for that size. Hold it next to a Palm III's LCD display and there's just no comparison. And people were merrily reading on that, and paying enough money to keep multiple e-bookstores in business for ten years.And you wonder "how many people would enjoy reading a full book if you could only read a couple of paragraphs at a time, looking through something the size of your credit card?"Ask the people who've been doing it for the last decade.—Chris Meadows, http://www.teleread.org/blog/

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Stanza & Screen Size

    (Why the h*** did it remove all my paragraph breaks when I edited?)

    Stanza and eReader are free (though Stanza will be going up to $15 once it gets out of beta). Bookshelf is $10, and very nearly worth it (definitely worth it if the impending upgrade fixes the problems it's supposed to). There's another e-book app out there, some sort of text reader, that's $5, but I've never tried it.

    All these applications can sync e-books direct to the iPhone/Pod from remote websites (in fact, since there's no conduit for placing app-usable files on a non-jailbroken iPhone, that's the only way you can put books on it): Stanza from Feedbooks (all freebies), eReader from eReader or Fictionwise sites, and Bookshelf from Baen Webscriptions. And you can buy the books in those last three sites using nothing more than the phone-or-pod's built-in browser.

    As for the smallness of the screen: it's funny to hear people declaiming over how nobody would want to read books on a screen that small. If it weren't for a screen that small (smaller, in fact, and with no color and half the resolution), commercial e-books would not be where they were today.

    It's a little hard to remember for a lot of people, especially young'uns, but ten years ago reading e-books was all the rage on the Palm Pilot. In fact, e-reading was essentially one of the Palm Pilot's big killer apps (and one of few that lasted for any length of time—anyone remember that PayPal was originally a service meant to let you "beam money" between Palms by infra-red? That sure died quickly).

    Everyone was talking about it, and it led to the formation of companies like Peanut Press and Fictionwise—both of which are still around to this day (though Peanut, now eReader, is now owned by Fictionwise). And through a long succession of failed attempts at e-reading devices—PDAs that were larger and cost more but didn't do as much as a Palm, often saddled with proprietary book formats—people have continued reading Fictionwise and eReader-nee-Palm Digital Media-nee-Peanut Press books on Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs.

    Ten years they've been doing it, and screens have improved considerably since that time. The iPhone/iPod Touch's screen is one of the best yet for that size. Hold it next to a Palm III's LCD display and there's just no comparison. And people were merrily reading on that, and paying enough money to keep multiple e-bookstores in business for ten years.

    And you wonder "how many people would enjoy reading a full book if you could only read a couple of paragraphs at a time, looking through something the size of your credit card?"

    Ask the people who've been doing it for the last decade.

    —Chris Meadows
    http://www.teleread.org/blog

  1. bertbaby

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Purchase by Maazon

    If you can't beat them then just buy them for pocket change! As the author of the Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot novel, my eBook is now a featured work at Wattpad.com, which is a free competitor to Stanza, and I have to say that the reader response has been overwhelming to my novel. People like the convenience of their iPhone and they really don't want to carry another device around so Amazon is basically hedging their bets with this acquisition. People also don't like being locked into one company unless it's Apple of course.

    Cheers,
    Erik John Bertel
    floresgirl.com

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