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Drone sales doubled in 2016, premium features help push sales

According to a report by analyst firm The NPD Group, U.S. dollar sales of drones more than doubled in the 12 months ending February 2017. Premium drones, which are defined as drones that cost $300 or more, drove a large portion of the growth for most of the year but during the holiday season drones with a price tag between $50- $100 saw a significant increase in sales as well. 

“While 2017 will see mid-tier and entry level drones (priced under $300) continue to drive unit demand, new form factors and innovations in sensing and imaging technology will help meet the needs of premium drone buyers,” noted Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group.

When comparing items sold in the $300-$500 price range, researchers also identified a clear consumer demand for premium features, such as auto pilot capabilities or follow mode functionality. Models offering those features sold considerably quicker than simpler variants.

Drones have clearly left the novelty item stage behind and become a mainstream consumer products. Let's hope this transition will manifest itself with new and more powerful features, and even more affordable price points in the nearer future.

Comments

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Graham Meale
Graham Meale

I just love the comments that drones are safer than ... [insert here, dogs, hairdryers, etc]. Might I point out that, for now at least, there are rather more hairdryers and dogs in the world than there are drones, and that neither are likely to bring down a passenger jet with the loss of many hundreds of lives.

1 week ago
dgc4rter
dgc4rter

So, please tell me Mr Meale. What would be the likelihood of a drone that was being flown no closer than 15 km to any airport and no higher than 400 ft, taking out a passenger plane? My point (I made earlier) was that they can be safe if they are flown safely. Thousands of people get killed in car accidents each year - so let's ban cars shall we?

1 week ago
eviltwin

In Canada the market will soon crumble as the Government has essentially made them illegal by issuing rules that make it impossible to fly them anywhere with few exceptions.

I was about to get into this hobby, lucky for me I was late to the game and can avoid the disappointment of having purchased one and then not being able to use it.

1 week ago
webber15

You have a lack of respect for others if you thought you could fly wherever you wanted...
BAN DRONES...

1 week ago
Franz Weber

With all due respect this is nonsense. Motocyles and hairdryers have inqured far more people than drones. Heck, weapons are alowed to be bought and carried around in the US. Ban weapons first before banning drones.

1 week ago*
webber15

Franz the numpty...drones need to come under RCA regulations...or banned completely is preferable...

1 week ago
M Chambers

We Americans don't need laws banning drones because we already have the Second Amendment which allows us to shoot them down.

1 week ago
Nicholas Wilson

M Chambers and webber15: The FAA classifies what you call drones as aircraft, same as any other. The FAA already requires a license or permit to fly one weighing more than .55 lb., and it is a federal crime to shoot at one in flight or to interfere with anyone who is piloting one. Your private property doesn't extend upward very far at all, no more than the tallest trees or buildings on your property. Above that is public airspace. That's the law. The Second Amendment doesn't allow you to shoot down a drone any more than it allows you shoot down any other aircraft, or any vehicle or person.

5 days ago*
Graham Meale
Graham Meale

Won't be long before our skies are full of them. I've just been listening to an item on the radio describing calls for greater controls of licensing. I wonder how long it'll be before one of them brings down a passenger jet.

1 week ago
dgc4rter
dgc4rter

If drone pilots adhere to the current rules and regulations and use basic, common sense guidelines when flying them, the risk of anyone getting hurt from these things is extremely low. You'd be far more likely to get bitten by someone's dog they were taking for a walk.

Sadly, there will always be the few idiots who fly recklessly and without any disregard for safety but you'll get that behaviour with car drivers and other things.

1 week ago
malcolml1

Birds have brought passenger planes down. I say we blast them all out of the sky before anyone else gets hurt.

1 week ago
dgc4rter
dgc4rter

Birds don't have No Fly Zones

1 week ago
Nicholas Wilson

There has been a lot of media hype about theoretical dangers from drones. Yet despite tens of thousands of drones flying, there has never been a case of an aircraft striking one, nor is that a likely scenario. i'm a private pilot, a professional photographer, and also operate a Phantom 4 flying camera that takes beautiful landscape and scenic photos and videos. I'm also a great-grandfather, but some of you are posting comments here that look like they're from high school students who think they know it all.

5 days ago
Yxa
Yxa

Nikon will enter the field after the market is saturated

1 week ago
Franz Weber

Samsung will create the best spec'ed done ever which will be three years ahead of the competition, win the dpr gold award, and leave the marked soon after that before making too much sales.

1 week ago*
Franz Weber

Olympus and Panasonic will create a standard for mircodrones with a 2x smaler propeller. These are supposed to be smaller and lighter. But over time they will grow in size and get heavier.

1 week ago*
KrisAK

I have a feeling this will turn into the aerial equivalent of smoking in public, with every drone operator in the county huddled around the same filthy picnic table in a dingy, remote field.

1 week ago
Stefan Sobol

Already like that in a lot of places. Haven't flown my P2 in almost a year because the hassles outweigh the fun.

1 week ago
the-bunker

You've been to our club then...

1 week ago
RedFox88

PLEASE call them UAVs not drones! Drones are military!

1 week ago
justmeMN

On the other hand :-) , the (USA) Federal Aviation Administration apparently calls them UAS, for unmanned aircraft systems.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/

1 week ago
JackM
JackM

Give it up. Yeah, it's technically wrong, but it's the name that has been adopted by the general public. Just like "Full Frame".

1 week ago
TheVorlon

The UAS designation is for the entire system; the UAV itself, and the ground controllers(s) used by the operator(s).

1 week ago
FLruckas
FLruckas

I just saw someone in a National Park get a citation for using one.

1 week ago
1 week ago
Stefan Sobol

Some guy in HI got taken down with a taser for flying his drone in a National Park (the operator, not the drone).

Then there was the guy in Yellowstone that lost his drone in a geyser and wanted the rangers to get it back for him.

1 week ago*
Nicholas Wilson

The National Park System has banned operating drones FROM the parks. They have no jurisdiction over flying OVER the parks. Same goes for local government. The FAA has exclusive jurisdiction over operations in the National Air Space, which begins just above the ground.

5 days ago*
FLruckas
FLruckas

Why don't you take your drone to the nearest national park ranger station and fly it?

Let us know what happens......

:-)

5 days ago