Despite the fact that Google has their Android operating system available on more devices than iOS and any other platform, it didn't become the widespread platform it is today on its own. With the rest of Google's services, it's become a heavily-integrated platform with services like Gmail, Google Search and of course, Google Maps. Maps has become a big selling point of Android, and a main feature for Google on its own. It's something that a lot of people rely upon, so much so that when Apple took it off of the iPhone, the Google Maps app became the top app on iOS overnight. It's not the only decent option in town however, and it appears that Amazon might be looking to get a piece of one such other option.
HERE maps, the service that used to be part of Nokia, is now owned by a group of automakers, and is being held on to as an independent alternative to that of Google Maps. It's said that the carmakers who own HERE maps – including Audi, BMW and Mercedes – are looking to use the mapping software to help build self-driving cars. Now, Reuters is reporting that Amazon is looking to acquire a stake in HERE Maps. According to the report, Amazon is looking to acquire a stake in the firm to ensure they become a provider of cloud computing services for HERE Maps. Amazon's cloud services have become an industry standard for websites and other big corporations, and to lock in a big maps provider like HERE would be a big boon for Amazon.
There's potential for Amazon to do more with the service than just that however, as the firm does make their own Android tablets, and being able to offer their own Maps service to compete with Google Maps could add one more string to their bow. Purchasing a stake in HERE however, wouldn't guarantee Amazon a huge return on investment, but as the software and platform becomes more and more of a hot ticket, it might be wise for Amazon to get in early and become part of something bigger down the line.