Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 9.51.42 AM.pngParagon, a German company, builds expensive dictionaries for the iPhone, Blackberry and other platforms. According to the LA Times:

With Google pushing its free dictionary and others like dominating Web searches, Paragon Chief Executive Alex Zudin contends that there’s still a very attractive market for the “premium reference content.” “Google can’t own this market,” Zudin said over lunch recently. “Merriam-Webster is the Bentley of the dictionary world.”

For many, the fast-improving free dictionaries are good enough. Paragon’s reference apps target the hyper-intellectual — the grad student in English, the business executive and the PhD, Zudin said. The elite names in reference materials aren’t necessarily going after the online search market.

In addition to trustworthy material, Zudin points to features like audio clips that help with word pronunciations and offline access as worthwhile upgrades. For the latter, apps such as Britannica Core can eat up half a gigabyte of space on your phone. But at least you know it’s always available — as long as you don’t run out of battery.

I currently have the Webster’s Third app on my iPhone. It costs $59, along with the Chambers Dictionary, which costs $8.


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