Amazon’s launching its own mapping API, and it’s dropped Google Maps and partnered with Nokia to do it. The Kindle Fire and Fire HD will pack a slice of Nokia, even though they both run on Android. Google can’t be too happy about that, surely?
The thing is, Google makes serious money out of mapping, especially from those who pay licence fees and let it shove adverts onto the maps. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is pretty big in the US already, and could be big here in the UK too. In fact, it’s potentially a bigger blow for Google that Amazon’s dumped its maps, as it’s highly probable that Kindle Fire users are less likely to install a Google Maps app, should Amazon let it into its store. At least on iOS, as long as Apple actually lets it through the App Store approval process too, Google can spit out a Maps app for the iPhone and iPad and those annoyed enough by Apple maps will install it.
It’s not like this is going to kill Google Maps, mind you, even on the mobile front, mainly thanks to the enormous footprint Android occupies. But other mapping services rallying against Google has to get big G worried. Mapping is now a three-horse race — Nokia, Google and Apple. So, Google, where’s that Google Maps app for the iPhone — seriously, we need it, now. [TNW]