Penguin, Random House forge iPhone strategies

One of the world’s oldest book publishers, Penguin Group, has announced a major move into digital publishing, announcing plans to develop content for the iPhone and other mobile devices.

As part of the initiative, dubbed “Penguin 2.0”, the company – the second largest trade book publisher in the world – has already made an application for the iPhone available through the iTunes App Store. The company also plans to introduce social networking and other community features within its new publishing paradigm over the next 12-months.

At present, Penguin’s iPhone application lets users read and comment on the Penguin blog, listen to the podcast, and browse new titles.

In related news, both Random House and Ballantine have confirmed plans to make books from their catalogue available for the iPhone through the Lexcycle Stanza e-Book reader.

The move to adopt new technology is interesting from a historical point of view. At its genesis, Penguin became a household name by providing wartime troops with an all-new entertainment technology they could carry with them when fighting in the trenches – the paperback book.

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