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GPS Sales Gaining, Especially Online

An increasing percentage of GPS navigation devices are being purchased online, according to Synovate.

The research company, which tracks consumer purchases, found that GPS purchases online increased to 23.3 percent of sales in 2005, up from 18.6 percent the year earlier.

The company, which surveys 50,000 U.S. households monthly, also found that 20 percent more consumers purchased a GPS device in 2005 than in 2004.

The study includes handheld units, including models for hikers, and in-dash models for the car.

Women especially are buying GPS devices, growing from 14.5 percent of the market in 2004 to 21 percent in 2005, Synovate said.

In other findings, Synovate said:

  • 70 percent of all GPS devices purchased are used for driving directions, while the remaining 30 percent are used for biking, hiking, camping, hunting and skiing.
  • 90 percent of GPS purchasers are first-time buyers, indicating that GPS systems have substantial growth years ahead of them, said Synovate VP George Griffin.
  • Nine new GPS brands were active in the United States in 2005, though the top two brands, Garmin and Magellan, continued to own about 75 percent market share, Synovate added.