Sunday, September 2, 2012

Is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) ditching Google Maps?

According to a report by Reuters, Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN)’s new Kindle Fire will be loaded with Nokia Oyj as the mapping service, instead of with Google maps. The tablet will also have location detecting powers either via GPS or Wi-Fi signal detection.

The world's largest Internet retailer, which says its nine-month old Kindle Fire now accounts for one in five U.S. tablet sales, has teamed up with Nokia on mapping, the Reuters report said citing two sources.

Amazon’s Kindle tablets run on Google’s Android operating software, but Google maps was not integrated into the device. Users had to download the mapping service via a web browser and install it separately.

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Mapping services, which are popular features on tablets, typically include street maps, information about local businesses and sometimes traffic status. They can also support navigation instructions and third-party applications that depend on location information, such as travel services, the report said.
Location capabilities mark the location of other tablet and smart phone users on the same network. Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, which competes directly with the Kindle Fire, comes with GPS receiver chips to support location and mapping functions.

Amazon’s first attempt at a tablet – the original Kindle Fire – was a very simple device and its main purpose was to serve up its own content. However the second Kindle Fire, which many expect to be unveiled on September 6, is expected to be more feature-rich.

So is Amazon moving away from Google? It is early days yet. The operating version of Android that Amazon uses has been considerably tweaked by the Internet retailer so that it has very little resemblance with Google’s core operating system.

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