Near Me searches have generally been on the uptick since the advent of the iPhone. But there have been the occasional downturns that were misinterpreted as a break in the trend.
Now that we have more data, it appears that those downturns and subsequent peaks are seasonal lows and highs of a generally increasing usage of the term in search.
If you search on “near me” using Google Trends for the US from 2004 to the present for all categories you can the annual July peak usage of the term:
Interestingly if you limit your Near Me trend results to just the Shopping category, you can see both an annual July and a December peak in the usage:The Seasonality of Near Me Searches in Local by Mike Blumenthal