Amazon has announced that their new Kindle Fire tablet will be offering mapping capabilities through a deal with Nokia, who are now one of the world’s largest mapping companies following an acquisition of Navteq back in 2007. This may have come as a surprise to those that were expecting their latest tablet to come with Google Maps.
It seems that Google Maps have fallen out of favour with phone manufacturers, as this news comes not long after Apple Inc. announced their intentions to remove the Google Maps application and instead replace it with their own mapping software when version six of the Apple operating system is released later this year. The move by Apple also saw them sign a deal with TomTom NV to provide them with a global license for both its map content and related information which will be used to provide the service.
The move by Amazon is no great surprise, as they acquired UpNext back in July, a company specialising in the three dimensional mapping of cities and sporting venues in a bid to bring mapping capabilities in house. In the meantime though a partnership with the Finnish company Nokia will see them become the mapping provider on the new Kindle Fire which is thought to be released any day now. Amazon’s link with both of these companies indicates that navigation, location based applications and local search tools must be in the pipeline for this and subsequent product launches; a separate rumour has also speculated that the tablet will have a GPS microchip built in, just like the Google Nexus 7 tablet or will otherwise use Wi-Fi triangulation in order to provide these services.
In just nine months, the Kindle Fire has achieved around a twenty two per cent market share of tablet sales in the United States, which means that over one in five of every tablet sold is the Kindle Fire. The Amazon tablet uses the Google Android operating system but does not come with Google Maps as a preinstalled application. For any Kindle owners that do want to use this software, it can be accessed through a web interface. The Kindle Fire has reigned supreme as one of, if not the best budget tablets on the market, costing just $199 when launched which is less than half the price of the cheapest iPad. This position though has been threatened by the arrival of tablets including the Google Nexus 7 and it will be interesting to see if Apple does in fact launch the rumoured iPad mini to also be able to gain a slice of the small tablet market.
The Kindle Fire tablet provides its users with access to a whole world of digital media which is accessed by Amazon Silk; the revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser. It has a bright and vibrant colour touchscreen which provides you with an extra-wide viewing angle. The tablet has a powerful dual-core processor for fast downloads, along with free cloud storage for Amazon content, freeing up your internal memory for storing other media and with over twenty million magazines, books, music tracks, films and television programmes as well as thousands of apps and games, there’ll always be something to keep you entertained.
The huge success of the Kindle Fire is win-win for the world’s largest retailer, Amazon as not only do they make the sales revenue from the tablets, but the tablets then drive sales of Amazons digital media as consumers purchase and download not just music but ebooks and so much more. Amazons success with the 7-inch tablet has also led many industry commentators to speculate that they’ll soon launch a larger tablet to compete with the likes of both the iPad and the Galaxy Note, both of which have a large consumer following.