Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is adding a mapping application to its inventory of services. The Internet retail giant announced yesterday that it would acquire UpNext, a developer of 3-D mobile maps.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but industry sources said the start-up’s backers would see their investment returned five times over with the deal, Reuters noted. The mapping company’s founders will relocate from UpNext’s New York City headquarters to Amazon’s Seattle hometown.
The acquisition comes after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) cut Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) mapping program out of the back end of its iOS 6 map applications, adding its own in-house mapping service. In response, Google announced it had upgraded its mapping program, adding 3-D enhancements. Still, roughly half of Google Maps’ traffic derives from iOS devices.
Analysts say the UpNext acquisition could signal a deeper move into the mobile device market by Amazon, raising again the possibility of an Amazon-branded smartphone.