U.S. drone sales have more than doubled between February 2016 and February 2017, according to new data released today from NPD group.
Customers may shy away from a high price tag. In the first two months of 2017, drones that cost over $300 accounted for less than half — 40 percent — of units sold. Still, drones costing over $300 amount to 84 percent of dollar sales in the past two months, NPD found. It’s not for unusual for high-end products to make up the bulk of dollar sales in an industry, even if cheaper products account for the majority of sales.
Still, it means that most people are trying to find a cheaper drone — something China’s DJI, the biggest consumer drone maker in the world, has yet to produce. The cheapest drone DJI has on its website right now is around $500 for a new Phantom 3. Its next cheapest drone is the Mavic Pro at $1,000.
When buying smaller unmanned aircraft, consumers jumped for high tech bells and whistles. In January and February 2017, drones costing between $300 and $500 sold five times faster if they came equipped with autopilot features and 19 times faster if the drones could detect and follow the person operating it, such as when riding a bike or running.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm