New Amazon Kindle Fire won’t have Google Maps, but goes with Nokia instead

August 30, 2012
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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.

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