Amazon Chooses Nokia/Navteq over Google and How Legacy Mapping Data Companies Stayed Relevant

So, you’ve forked Android and now it comes time to choose a mapping provider, what would you do? Well Amazon decided to hook up with one of the largest navigation data providers out there. Inc’s new Kindle Fire will have mapping services via a tie-up with Nokia/Navteq Oyj, according to two people familiar with the situation, filling a gap in the tablet’s capabilities while snubbing Google Inc’s popular service.

Amazon will release at least one new version of the Kindle Fire next Thursday.

I’ll be curious how the new hardware Amazon might release will allow better mapping (GPS in the Kindle Fire 2?) and possibly LTE connectivity. I guess we’ll know in a couple weeks what Amazon has in store for their mapping options. On top of it all, Amazon has UpNext which might dovetail very nicely into their navigation tools.

So there you go, they didn’t go with Google (I think this is pretty obvious for the same reasons Apple went their own way) nor did they pick OpenStreetMap (they may still go for a blended service like Apple has, but we’ll have to see). No, they picked one of the two largest legacy data mapping companies to power their maps.

Don't Blink

We are now down to four; Nokia/Navteq, TomTom, Google and OSM

Now we’ve been crying for years that TomTom and Nokia/Navteq are doomed with the growth of OSM and Google, but clearly between the two of them they have Amazon (Nokia/Navteq), Apple (TomTom) and Microsoft (Nokia/Navteq). That leaves Google to their own platform (Android) and Nook to OSM. Rather than falling apart and having to shut down production, Nokia/Navteq and TomTom signed with some of the largest mobile device platforms out there.

Now there are still some questions here. These deals by TomTom and Nokia/Navteq could be loss leaders for the companies. This could mean that while their short term prospects are great, the end could be Apple buying TomTom and Microsoft buying Nokia/Navteq because neither company can survive on these new revenue streams. That said, I am impressed how TomTom and Nokia/Navteq have been able to stay relevant in the past 3 years given the disruptive nature of OSM and Google Maps.


You totally would have told me this 2 years ago if I said TomTom/Navteq were still relevant

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