Droneflyers.com takes part is helping the Consumer Technology Association work out their projects for the future. As a result, we have access to the final number they come up with in terms of US and Worldwide Drone Sales. If you desire a more detailed or nuanced opinion/report you can contact me for a custom “reading of the tea leaves”. However, here are some of the basics – note that CTA figures represent wholesale pricing from the manufacturers to the dealers. You could add 20 to 30% to figure on the total retail dollars.
US Market – Drones over 250 grams (most all current serious camera models) are expected to fall from 40% growth in 2018 to 13% yearly growth in 2020. Furthermore, a projected drop in pricing means that only a 5% increase in revenue is projected for 2020 – down from a 30% increase in 2018.
Worldwide Market – The worldwide market is less saturated, so the forecast is for 43% revenue growth in 2018, dropping to 10% in 2020.
However, in both cases the market growth in revenue is projected to be almost ZERO in 2021 – that is, at that point the market will likely be saturated and sales will stabilize and/or increase or decrease slightly…both worldwide and in the USA.
Other Markets for Drone Related Services will likely grow. Accessories, third party apps, consulting, piloting and other smaller services and add-ons are not mentioned in the report.
In Summary, the first stages of the Drone Boom are coming to an end. The future is never easy to predict – however it remains possible that additional breakthroughs will be made which allow for sales increases based on higher per-sale averages. Most of the current projects are based on a slight lowering of prices each year – while we have seen just the opposite in the past year. Experienced drone users have been actually paying more than earlier for advanced models like the Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional. However, the drone manufacturers face a similar problem as other technology companies in that once a customer owns a drone which is “more than good enough”, they may not be tempted to rush out and buy the next new model.
These projections also do not include the middle and higher ends of the commercial market – ag, security, etc. – which could add substantially to the total revenues.
Two relevant charts are above (click to enlarge) .
Note – the CTA is the org. that puts on CES – Consumer Electronics Show – in Las Vegas.