The Kindle Fire 2 may feature GPS and a mapping service provided by Nokia.
Talk about the Kindle Fire HD (2) is heating up now that the supposed big reveal is next week. Earlier this week, supposed screens surfaced showing a nearly-identical form factor save for a front-facing camera. Now Reuters is reporting that Amazon has chosen Nokia to provide a mapping service for the Kindle Fire successor, indicating that the device will sport GPS functionality.
According to the report, anonymous sources claim that Amazon has added location abilities to the new Kindle Fire, but it's currently unknown if the tablet will indeed feature a GPS chip, or use Wi-Fi-based location. It will likely be the former hardware-based option given that Google has included GPS receiver chips in the just-released 7-inch Nexus 7.
After acquiring Navteq back in 2007, Nokia became one of the world's largest mapping companies. An alliance with Amazon would mean the online retailer will be able to develop a native client for the Kindle Fire and other GPS-enabled devices such as the rumored Amazon smartphone. It will also put Amazon in a better position to compete with Google on a features level, as the original Kindle Fire did not have a native mapping client.
Back in July, Amazon purchased 3D mapping startup developer UpNext. Reports claimed that as part of the acquisition deal, the 4-man team would head to Seattle and take the reigns of Amazon's core mapping efforts. Previously UpNext offered apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices, covering 50 cities nationwide but offering enhanced 3D details for 23 cities.
Next week Amazon is rumored to be refreshing its entire Kindle line, launching the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (2), the 10-inch Kindle Fire XL, the revised 7-inch Kindle Fire with a reduced price, a new Kindle Touch with color and a backlit display, and an updated non-touch Kindle with a backlit display and color graphics. Amazon is also slated to reveal discounted version supported by advertisements.