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.