Amazon.com Inc. has acquired Lexcycle Inc., a company that makes a popular e-book reading application for Apple Inc.‘s iPhone called Stanza. This is a very interesting acquisition, as I have been blogging about how the Kindle is a disruptive technology that will change the publishing business the way that Apple has changed the music business.
The acquisition adds to Amazon’s growing portfolio of e-book offerings. The Seattle Internet company sells the Kindle e-book reader as well as e-book titles in its own format. In addition, Amazon recently unveiled Kindle software for the iPhone.
Amazon spokeswoman Cinthia Portugal said that Lexcycle will continue to operate as a “standalone offering” because “Amazon has always believed that the best innovation comes from small, autonomous and focused teams of smart people.” Yes – and Amazon is smart enough to let consumers determine what device they want to buy and read books on. They are also smart enough to know that at some point, the technologies will have interoperable capabilities such that you could read a book you purchased on your iPhone also on your Kindle.
Lexcycle was founded in 2008 and has offices in Austin, Texas, and Portland, Ore. Its Stanza application, which is free, allows users to read from a selection of more than 100,000 books and periodicals that are largely formatted in an open industry standard called ePub.
Look for more acquisitions like this from Amazon as they capitalize on their success with the Kindle.