UPDATE: Yes it has been confirmed, Nokia is providing the mapping platform to Amazon.
As nice as chocolate and peanut butter turned out, sometimes you just don’t want someone else’s API putting raisins in your oatmeal cookies (yes raisins are the work of the devil). Amazon, who has their own mobile platform, has made sure the shriveled up Google Maps API does not have to be used by their developers.
You may have noticed a new API on the Amazon Mobile App SDK tab in the developer portal. When we announced Kindle Fire HD, we also made the Amazon Maps API available to our developer community. The Amazon Maps API makes it easy for you to integrate mapping functionality into apps that run on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. These new devices will also support location-based services through the android.location API.
I’m not going to apply to see their beta because I have zero use for yet another mapping API. That said as the Amazon Mobile platform becomes larger, developers are going to be looking for these APIs. We can expect this to look like Nokia’s mapping API given that Amazon chose Nokia to provide their mapping technology. Nook aside, every mobile phone/tablet platform has their own mapping API now. Amazon has been on fire (pun intended) lately and I can assure you the moment that Amazon gives these Kindle Fire devices free to Amazon Prime customers, I’ll go ahead and take it.
I don’t see this having much impact on Apple/Android given they both have pretty much solidified themselves as the top two platforms. The “also-rans” of Microsoft, Nook, Blackberry, and possibly whatever is left of PalmOS are now going to have to battle a 3rd platform (Kindle) that is well supported by it’s owner and is innovating at a great pace. I’d suspect Nokia will make more money off providing mapping to the Kindle platform than they will selling their own phones.
Spatial isn’t special, but it sure has it’s own API.
You see in this world there’s two kinds of mobile platforms, my friend. Those with mapping APIs, and those who dig. You dig.