While the worlds’ eyes have been focused on the public divorce of Apple and Google, it appears that a very different kind of love triangle has been developing in the mapping arena.
The European cell phone manufacturer Nokia, who recently improved the traffic data and added geo-coded addresses to Microsoft’s Bing Maps, now look set to provide Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 with it’s built-in mapping features. What is perhaps most interesting in this development is that the new Kindle is expected to use the Android platform, for which Google has continued to invest in its own mapping software in a kind of Gloria Gaynor “I will survive” gesticulation to Apple. The idea of the new device using mapping different from Google would come as a significant snub to the search giant. It would also be the most public display of affection so far between mobile’s newest celebrity couple, Microsoft and Nokia, who have so far only flirted through Bing and the apps they have developed for the new Windows 8 powered phones. A further shift in the balance of power could also be in progress as Amazon and Microsoft become ‘close’.
No official announcement has been made but the technical press is alive with the rumors. Nokia has continued to develop and market devices in Europe despite assuming a lower profile in the US. Earlier this year Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced his intention to make the company the go-to provider of location based services. Distribution through Amazon and Microsoft could be the fast lane to at least becoming a third major player in online mapping.
If the Samsung vs Apple battle creates more competition in the smart phone arena, the arrival of Nokia as a force in mapping could open up a wealth of opportunity for developers and end users in digital mapping. It’s an exciting time to be in digital cartography and mobile applications.
- Nokia + Microsoft Kick Off $23M AppCampus Incubator: Over $1M Going To 36 Startups (techcrunch.com)
- Amazon taps Nokia for Kindle Fire maps, report says (news.cnet.com)
- Nokia CEO makes the case for Microsoft deal (reviews.cnet.com)
- Reuters: Amazon picking Nokia Maps over Google for its new Kindle Fire (intomobile.com)