Amazon has snubbed Google and opted to use the mapping service provided by troubled handset maker Nokia
Amazon is reportedly negotiating with Nokia to use its mapping service for the e-commerce giant’s forthcoming Kindle Fire 2 tablet.
Although there has been no official confirmation, Amazon is widely expected to launch the next generation of its best selling Kindle Fire tablet next Thursday. It has scheduled a major press conference in Santa Monica, California at that time, and stocks of the current Kindle Fire are reportedly low.
In July Amazon placed a large order for the devices with a Taiwanese manufacturer, according to reports, and this week it finally opened its Amazon Appstore in Europe, more than a year after it first appeared in the US. There is still no word when the Kindle Fire will appear in the UK.
Amazon is believed to be beefing up the feature set for the Kindle Fire 2, adding mapping services thanks to a deal with Nokia, Reuters reported.
If true, this will add an important tablet feature to the Kindle Fire 2, and suggests that the new device will include either a GPS chip or make use of Wi-Fi triangulation for its location service. This new feature would allow users of the Kindle Fire 2 tablet to use their device for street map or travel information for example, and even possibly even navigation.
The rising importance of mapping to Amazon was underlined in July when it purchased the mapping startup UpNext. And Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 will be going head-to-head against Google with its Nexus 7 tablet, which already boasts a GPS chip.
The deal with Nokia will be seen by some industry observers as something of a snub to Google’s popular mapping service, but perhaps that is not surprising considering the likely competition between the two low-cost Android tablet providers.
Nokia is already one of the world’s largest mapping companies, thanks to its acquisition of Navteq back in 2007. And the troubled Finnish handset maker already offers its mapping service free on its own handsets.
Meanwhile, Apple has also dropped Google Maps from its iOS devices.
For its part, the Kindle Fire has proven to be a best seller for Amazon.
Indeed, Amazon this week revealed that its existing Kindle Fire tablet, which was launched in the US last November, now accounts for one in five tablet sales in the United States.
According to Amazon, the 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet has now sold out completed (presumably Amazon has run its stock down ahead of the new device’s launch), and it has captured 22 percent of US tablet sales over nine months.
This places the Kindle Fire in second position in the tablet sweepstakes in the US, which if true is impressive for a low-cost Android tablet competing against the Apple iPad juggernaut, and the more pricey Samsung Galaxy Tab devices.
What do you know about tablets? Find out with our quiz!