How many camera drones are being sold? Which brands? At what price? At what profit? Most all of these questions are difficult to answer since the industry consists of private companies – most of whom do not offer guidance or share numbers.
Droneflyers.com has used a number of methods to make educated guesses – including Amazon.com rankings, CES (Consumer Technology Association – CTA) figures and other indicators. To these we can add the more informal “buzz” such as whether a company has laid off large amounts of stuff, delayed updates and new products, etc.
This article will put forward yet another way of counting consumer camera drones – that of using participation and readership of drone forums as a guide. Combining this with additional facts and fuzzy logic, we have been able to come up with some guesses as to the US 2017 drone sales. Note – our total sales number is based on the CTA estimate of approx. 1 Billion dollars in US (wholesale) consumer drones over 250 grams.
For this exercise we used the popular forums such as Phantompilots.com and Mavicpilots.com, assuming that most who visited such forums either owned or were in the market for those particular models. We took measurements over various times and days and averaged them out. As an example, the graphic below shows a small part of the spreadsheet: