Palm Buys peanutpress and Peanut Reader
Palm, Inc. has bought peanutpress.com, an eBook publisher and distributor of an extensive selection of eBooks. peanutpress offers titles from many of the major commercial publishing houses. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal includes a web-based storefront containing a growing list of 2,000 titles from most of the major U.S. publishing houses. It also includes the free Peanut Reader, which runs on Palm OS handhelds as well as on Pocket PC devices. Peanut Reader and peanutpress.com will be renamed Palm Reader software and Palm Digital Media, respectively.
Palm Reader will ship in the box with the newly announced Palm m500 series handhelds, along with two eBooks, Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and 12 Valuable Ways to Use Your Palm, from Velocity Business Publishing.
Palm Reader, which can be used to view electronic books on either Palm OS or Pocket PC handheld computers, has easy-to-use features such as auto-scrolling, bookmarks, standard and large fonts and selectable viewing orientations. Palm Reader will continue to support Pocket PC in addition to Palm OS.
This deal makes Palm a leading eBook distributor for handheld computers in the emerging eBook space. The move -- part of Palm's strategy to deliver end-to-end handheld computing solutions -- lets the company expand the use of eBooks by consumers and mobile professionals, and in the largely untapped education space.
"This is an empowering opportunity, one that will allow us to help people make the most of their on-the-go-time," said Mike Lorion, vice president of Vertical Markets for Palm, Inc. "Leisure readers, business professionals honing job skills, commuters catching up on the Wall Street Journal, or students backpacking 20-plus pounds of books can benefit from being able to carry reading materials in a device that weighs only ounces and also manages the rest of their information. "
The company also announced that Stephen King's latest novel, DREAMCATCHER, will be introduced simultaneously as a Palm eBook and as a hardcover book. The introduction is slated for March 20 at 12:01 a.m. EST. Until March 23, Palm will offer DREAMCATCHER for a special introductory price of just $15.
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