Amazon Buys Stanza’s Creator

In the “I’m My Own Worst Enemy” department, Amazon has purchased Lexcycle, creator of Stanza eBook Reader for iPhone and iPod Touch. Read the New York Times story here. Why not, they almost forced Stanza into existence?

Have you have been following this? Amazon’s subsidiary, Mobipocket, delayed the release of Mobipocket Reader software for iPhone for over a year. This was Amazon’s attempt, through Mobipocket, to keep a clear field for Kindle to play in, and further to keep competitors at bay for the release of Kindle 2.

iPhone users, used to this sort of corporate manipulation, cried fowl and started digging around the net for something that would allow them to read eBooks. Enter Lexcycle’s Stanza, an excellent application that turned iPhone and iPod Touch into eReaders. The only thing Stanza couldn’t do was read Mobipocket DRM locked files.

It gets funnier when you realize Amazon through Mobipocket, still delayed the release of a Mobipocket Reader for iPhone, forcing the Stanza readers to turn to the black market and/or file sharers for cracked and illegally unlocked eBooks to satisfy their craving to read, further fuelling the illegal trade of digital content that Amazon whines about.

This is what happens when you play god, yah? Now watch as this plan fails. They used to be able to do this in the old world. Buy a competitor and then use him or shut him down. They don’t seem to understand the speed that apps appear on the market, evolve and spread. And they’ve already started a negative relationship with Stanza users (0r millions of iPhone owners) who might prove unwilling to use Stanza with Amazon’s name attached. (And why bother, when a new Stanza will pop up faster than you can say: DRM!) Amazon will not be able to control the market with this kind of thinking.

 The only way to dominate is through excellent prices, products and service.

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