Lexcycle, the company that created Stanza, the free e-book application for the iPhone and iPod Touch, yesterday announced that it had been acquired by Amazon. Neither company disclosed financial details. "We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition, representatives from Lexcycle wrote on the company's blog. "Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read e-books from our many content partners."
Using the Stanza application, iPhone and iPod Touch users can download and read over a hundred thousand books and periodicals—many of them for free. Last December, Random House became the first major publisher to partner with Lexcycle by offering several full-length e-book titles available to Stanza users at no cost. And in January, the self-publishing company Smashwords announced an agreement with the company under which authors can make their unpublished manuscripts available on Stanza.
Amazon last month released a Kindle application for the iPhone that allows users to sync with Kindle and Kindle 2 devices, but yesteday's acquisition of Stanza will give the online retailer a stronger presence on mobile devices.
“It’s very early days for e-books, and we believe there is a lot of innovation ahead of us,” Cinthia Portugal, a spokeswoman for Amazon, told Brad Stone of the New York Times technology blog. "Lexcycle is a smart, innovative company, and we look forward to working with them to innovate on behalf of readers."