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The end of the sat-nav? John Lewis removes units from stores as sales plummet

Auto Express logo Auto Express 12/10/2017 Daniel Smith
TomTom GO 5100 sat-nav © Auto Express TomTom GO 5100 sat-nav

British retailer John Lewis has decided to no longer stock increasingly outdated satellite navigation systems in-store, selling them exclusively online as inbuilt and smartphone road maps become the norm.

Once an essential accessory for new cars, sat-navs are one of the items being ‘left behind’ according to John Lewis’ annual retail report.

The retailer’s decision is in response to declining sales over the last few years, with leading sat-nav brand TomTom reporting shrinking sales over the last decade.

Related: This device projects your sat nav onto your windscreen (Business Insider)

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One of the reasons for the decline in external sat-nav sales is the increase in car manufacturers equipping navigation as standard in their vehicles.

The availability of Google Maps and other sat-nav applications on almost every smartphone is another factor in declining sat-nav sales.

Google Maps is free and comes as standard on most smartphones. It also updates traffic flow conditions on the road to give advanced warning to drivers about delays as they occur. 

As a result of this easy access to navigation, sat-navs have become redundant for many motorists who now rely on either their phone or in their cars’ on-board system.

As such, John Lewis made the decision to sell them exclusively on its online store since April this year.

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Related: Top cars for your Android phone (Motoring Research)

What is Android Auto?: Android Auto mirrors selected features on your smartphone and displays them on a car’s infotainment screen. This allows you to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music on the go. The list of cars available with Android Auto is growing all the time, so we’ve selected 40 of our favourites. The top 40 cars available with Android Auto in the UK

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