It is being reported by Reuters that Amazon has bought mapping start-up company UpNext. I have used the iPad UpNext app and it gives Amazon a great base from which to start.
I can’t help thinking that Amazon is extremely grateful for all of Google’s hard work on Android. Google did all of the development of Android and gives it away. Google can afford to do this because they expect to make money off of the services that integrate with Android (think ads, maps, search, etc).
The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet uses a modified version of Android. Amazon at no point in time refers to the Fire as an Android device. In fact, many people believe that the Fire should not count towards Android market share numbers. Amazon integrates their own app, movie, music, and retail stores on the device, eating all of Google’s profits in those areas and once again bypassing Google. The purchase of UpNext makes it apparent that Amazon is willing to provide any service that is revenue generating while letting Google do all of the hard work on the operating system.
In the end will there be any revenue left for Google in Android? I don’t know, but it certainly feels like the competition appreciates all of the help. Today Amazon should send Google a big thank you card and buy them a gift.