After hearing murmurings that the iPhone application/electronic book reader, Stanza, was going to pose a threat to the Kindle's success, I decided to give the application a whirl and see how it stacked up. It didn't. In fact, the only thing that I liked about the application was its name, as it's apt. A stanza is about all I wanted to read on it. The relatively tiny iPhone/iPod screen has the glare of a computer, which is fine if you are using it like a computer, but annoying if you are using it like a book. Also, the fact that you are reading off your phone makes it difficult to read for pleasure as the medium itself is the antithesis of relaxation.
Additionally, as David Berlind pointed out in his recent post, Bezos already hinted at the fact that Amazon plans to make the Kindle books available on other 'mobile devices' which means that Stanza will quickly live up to its namesake (the poetic stanza) and become obsolete. If only they had named the company, EZ2READ maybe it would have fared better in a world that prefers acronyms to iambic pentameter.
Stanza's only hope now is that it can figure out some way to team up with Amazon when Amazon decides to make Kindle books available on the iPhone. In all honestly, however, the only thing this will do is put the Kindle on a higher pedestal as it shines in comparison. Stanza, once a threat, now an ode to the Kindle.
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