It’s no secret that Apple is ditching Google Maps for its built-in mapping application in the next iteration of iOS. It seems other companies are also decreasing their dependence on the search giant, as Amazon is also going for another mapping provider.

Amazon bought its own 3D mapping company this July, with its acquisition of UpNext. In a recent report, Reuters says Amazon has also partnered with Finland’s Nokia Oyj as a mapping provider. Amazon is rumored to release at least one new Kindle Fire device in the first week of September, and market factors — such as the “sold out” status of the Kindle Fire — seem to be confirming this.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire reportedly accounts for about 22% of all tablets sold in the U.S., and has been driving content sales, according to analysts. The current Kindle Fire does not have Google Maps built-in, even if it runs Google’s Android operating system. Maps can be accessed through a web interface or by first rooting the device and installing Google Play.

With Amazon’s partnership with Nokia and its own 3D mapping ability via UpNext, the company is set to integrate navigation, local-search and other location-based services without relying on Google. Neither Amazon nor Nokia has given confirmation on the deal, though.

Amazon’s rumored release of the next Kindle Fire is set for Thursday, September 6, well ahead of Apple’s own planned launch of the next-generation iPhone and iPad in October. The Kindle Fire’s supremacy among budget Android tablets is threatened by the popularity of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, and the rumored Apple iPad Mini. Amazon still continues to compete in terms of content availability, though, with the millions of ebook titles, movies and music tracks on the Amazon store.

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.
  • Charlie Klementowich

    I don’t like how they are trying to distance themselves from a google experience. However, anything that is selling well (and isn’t Apple) is quite alright in my book.

  • JayZed

    I guess my question for both Apple and Amazon is “why?” Why the need to build your own? See of couse what I as a consumer want is a GPS system that integrates. Google earth, maps and navigation. Plus I want real-time data, traffic, weather, etc, all overlaid. Google has the best shot at delivering that but they need the data feedback from millions of users to be able to create that experience. With Apple and Amazon ditching, it seems less likely they can deliver. But it’s not like the others can either. So, because of ego of theses firms (I guess), I as the consumer get screwed. In the end, no one can produce the ultimate product. I know everyone claims that competition drives innovation, but, for example, Adobe Photoshop is the best in class, hands down, and they have almost zero competition. So in that case, it is possible to create excellence, not from lots of competition, but from user needs and user experiences. Google had a shot at the same, but maybe not now. Alll I can do is hope.

  • Why would the invest money in a Finland based company and not one based here in the USA?