It’s not that a big surprise anymore, after Reuters earlier reported that Amazon teamed up with Nokia for mapping services, but to my knowledge the Finnish smartphone and mobile software maker has never actually confirmed this to date.

However, in a message to The Next Web, Nokia confirms that yes, Amazon has in fact licensed its Location Platform for maps and geocoding.

The news comes after Amazon announced earlier today that it is launching a Maps API to help mobile app developers break away from rival Google (which also provides a comprehensive API for mapping services to third parties) for using location data in their apps for Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets.

Nokia’s Location Platform enables registered developers to use the company’s set of APIs to build “rich, customizable location-based mobile apps with complete functionality for Maps, Positioning, Places, Directions, and Traffic”.

It works for native mobile apps, Web apps and HTML5 apps (in beta).

Dr. Sebastian Kurme, a spokesperson for Nokia’s Communications, Location & Commerce business units, no longer leaves anything to the imagination:

Amazon is licensing the Nokia Location Platform (NLP) for maps and geocoding.

The Nokia Location Platform is the most advanced mobile location platform with a unique global footprint. It provides maps for almost 200 countries (with more than 100 of them navigable) and provides the best, automotive-grade map quality based on industry-leading technology and more than 20 years expertise in mapping.

Amongst others, it is already powering Yahoo Maps, and increasingly also powering Bing Maps as well.

Location is playing a central role in our strategy, and because of its global footprint, quality and completeness of performance (geocoding, routing, traffic) the Nokia Location Platform offers great opportunities for 3rd parties to build upon.

Amazon´s decision to choose the Nokia Location Platform is further proof point that our competence in this space is a key differentiator also for other leading players in the industry to offer great location consumer experiences.

So there you have it, folks. It’s becoming a three-horse race in the location data space: Nokia (with Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo as its licensees) against Google against Apple. From our earlier blog post about the all-new Amazon Maps API:

Amazon today announced on its mobile app developer blog that its Maps API is now available in beta as part of its Mobile App SDK. Like the Google Maps API, it allows app developers to integrate mapping functionality into any app that runs on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets.

Developers can apply now to get access to the API through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal today, and Amazon is providing a “simple migration path” for those who want to switch from the native Google Maps API on Android.

Furthermore, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD will also support location-based services through the android.location API.