Amazon Teams up with Nokia; to Dump Google Maps

August 31, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

If you are a travel enthusiast, you must have maps and GPS. And most people these days prefer having these applications on their smartphones and tablets. And Google’s app holds top slot among all the map apps available in the market.

Now Amazon has teamed up with Nokia to challenge the Google’s dominance in the map space. The new Kindle Fire, while ignoring Google’s popular service, will be featuring the mapping application through Nokia Oyj. Amazon is expected to release a new version of Kindle Fire next Thursday.

According to sources, the new device will have location capabilities. This would require a GPS chip or make use of the method known as Wi-Fi triangulation.

As you know, map applications usually contain street maps, navigation instructions and information about local businesses, traffic status, travel services etc. Location capabilities also pin point the location of tablet and smartphone users.

Kindle Fire’s rival, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, features a GPS chip that supports location and mapping functions. The Kindle Fire, with its $199 price tag, caught many a customer’s eye and paved way for its rise to fame. Amazon now claims that its Kindle Fires have completely sold out.

Kindle now runs on an earlier version of Android, which Amazon had developed into its own OS. But the company didn’t integrate the device with Google Maps, which led users to download third-party apps or access the app through a web browser. With Amazon joining hands with Nokia, the company may be able to develop its integrated mapping functionality for the Kindle Fire, without needing Google Maps.

Amazon had agreed in July to purchase the mapping startup UpNext. UpNext specializes in detailed 3D mapping of cities and some sporting stadiums. The Finnish company, who with the acquisition of Navteq, became one of the world’s largest mapping companies, is yet to comment.

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