Parrot exits toy drone market to focus on enterprise offerings
|The Wirecutter was the first to report that retailers such as Amazon have been slowly running out of Parrot’s Mambo (pictured above) and Swing drones.|
French drone manufacturer Parrot is retiring its Mambo and Swing models, effectively exiting the toy drone market. The news was first reported by The Wirecutter. ‘Parrot has stopped the production and development of any drone but the Anafi and its variations,’ a spokesperson confirmed on Friday. Though the company will still offer the Anafi on the consumer end, it has been iterating on the compact, foldable drone and shifting its focus toward commercial and enterprise businesses with the Anafi Thermal.
Parrot has been steadily scaling back on consumer drone manufacturing for over two years. 290 employees, or roughly one third of the staff at the time from the UAV division, were laid off in the beginning of 2017 after a lackluster Holiday season. Consumer interest in drones is growing but the market is dominated by DJI, which is based in Shenzhen, China, and dominates globally with a 75% share.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently released an annual Aerospace Forecast Report. The latest findings predict the commercial drone market could triple in size by 2023. It makes sense that Parrot, who also announced they would no longer compete with DJI in the consumer market back in a 2017 financial filing, continues to focus on developing B2B enterprise solutions. While revenue from its commercial sector increased by 5% in 2018, total revenues were down by 28% from 2017.
This past May, Parrot was one of six companies selected to develop unmanned aircraft for the U.S. Military’s Department of Defense program. The month before, it introduced the Anafi Thermal containing a FLIR radiometric thermal-imaging unit with a standard 4K camera. This repurposing of a consumer drone for commercial purposes is a clear indicator of their future direction. The numbers speak volumes. In the first quarter of 2019, the company’s consumer drone sales accounted for 38% of its overall revenue, down 20% from the same period in 2018.
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