Incorporated in 2001, Mobipocket was the creator of the .mobi file format used for eBooks. The company was based in France and was also behind the Mobipocket reader software found in mobile phones, personal digital assistants, operating systems and e-readers such as Kindle and iLiad.
Long before Amazon built its Kindle platform, it acquired the Mobipocket. After the acquisition in 2005, users reported a drop in software support, user support, and growth of the platform. In 2011, Amazon informed publishers that it was ending support for Mobipocket. This forced Mobipocket to shut down its retail and distribution operation as well.
Since 2011, Mobipocket has not been accepting any eBook submissions or selling any books. Amazon shifted all the eBook sales and publishing operations to the Kindle Platform. In 2016, after years of not producing any updated apps or making any sales, Amazon finally announced that it was permanently shutting down the Mobipocket website and servers. Users weren’t affected greatly by the announcement as the once-famous format and software had already taken a backseat in everyone’s minds.
Many believe that Amazon stripped the Mobipocket software of all its parts and dismantled it to create its own Kindle Platform. This idea holds some merit as there are some glaring similarities and parallels that can be drawn between Kindle and Mobipocket.
While acquiring Mobipocket had been a key step in Amazon’s journey to building its own eBook platform, Mobipocket clearly became obsolete for the company at a certain point. With Amazon’s full focus on its Kindle platform, Mobipocket was bound to bite the dust.