Amazon further commits to mobile, purchases 3D mapping company UpNext

Amazon further commits to mobile, purchases 3D mapping company UpNext
We wrote back in May that Amazon might actually be the dark horse challenger to become the third platform in the mobile ecosystem, as they continue to expand their hardware offerings and cloud-based services. Today GigaOm is reporting that Amazon has made another large investment into the mobile field, with the purchase of 3D mapping startup UpNext.

UpNext provides app for Android and iOS that supplies detailed 3D maps that cover 50 U.S. cities, with “enhanced details” for nearly half of them. UpNext has also partnered with the NFL to provide Super Bowl guides that include 3D maps of the football stadiums and surrounding areas for fans to use. Amazon is reported to have offered UpNext’s stake holders a five-fold return on their investment to buy them out, and the deal will include moving the UpNext team to Seattle to head up Amazon’s core mapping efforts.

Presumably we will see the results of this purchase on future Kindle Fire tablets, but given the importance of mapping software to phones we think this strengthens the likelihood that we’ll see an Amazon phone in the not-so-distant-future. To get a feel for what their mapping solution may look like, you can watch the demo video for UpNext’s current apps below.

source: GigaOm via The Verge



1. smdeezy

Posts: 66; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

Lame. They are way to late in the mapping game.

2. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

Hmmm, Amazon should buy Blackberry and get BB10 out the door. Especially since Google has declared war on the Android front with the Nexus tablet.

4. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

THAT would make sense, especially if this time next year BB10 is delayed again or a flop out of the gate, making RIM even weaker or outright helpless. With BBM, their secure systems, and a focused/deep pocketed owner with Amazon's resources, that might make for a very strong marriage. Boy, Amazon would be a monster if they got a serious Mobile presence.

3. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Wonder what they would actually bring to the world of Mobile Phones. I love them in Tablets- with their E-Readers and built in audience with Amazon's HUGE book and online catalog of magazines, it is a natural. But Mobile Phones is a whole different type of predator. It eats it's own young. Microsoft, even with it's deep pockets and years and years of mobile experience, is fighting to get WP on the map, RIM is fighting to stay revelant, not to mention Samsung (Bada) and HP/Palm (WebOS) outright failed, does E-reader and 1 cheap tablet success mean Amazon has a chance? With Barnes and Noble teaming up with Microsoft to attack Apple in the classroom (electronic textbooks over tablets) and get a better foothold in the E-reader biz, maybe Amazon should stick to what has propelled them to #1 before #2 turns this thing back to a race.....

5. Orbitman

Posts: 110; Member since: Oct 09, 2011

they could even just use a super-skinned version of android like they did with the kindle fire

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