Mid-2018 State of the Drone Market – Predictions and more….
or, 2018 Drone Report…
As of mid-2018 there are a number of factors affecting the current Consumer and “Consumer Enterprise” drone market – some of which we will explore in this article.
Consumer Enterprise – what’s that?
Oh, it’s just a term I made up on the fly. Traditionally, the civilian drone (UAV) market has consisted of a few segments:
1. Toys – generally semi-disposal models to learn on. Some things have changed in this market as the higher ($100-$300) end of this range now features programmable models as well as some equipped with GPS.
2. Consumer Camera Drones – this has been the real driver of sales and profits over the past 4 years and consists of GPS drones with app control and stabilized cameras. Current prices run from $400-$1500, although there are some “prosumer” models at the higher end with better cameras (Phantom 4 Pro).
3. Enterprise Drones – Starting at about 3K (DJI Inspire) and headed up to many 10’s of thousands of dollars, these are typically used for professional videography such as the drone shots you might see on network and streaming hollywood productions. Smaller agricultural and security drones as well as surveying models (with software designed for such) are also part of this group.
My new category, Consumer Enterprise, covers the segment which would appeal to contractors, inspectors and many others who use their drones for various tasks that either make…or save…them money and time. An example would be roofing or landscape development companies, land trusts, solar PV installers and various other construction trades. Up until now, this segment has settled for the consumer models, however their tool budgets allow them to easily step up to better models. These firms, usually relatively small businesses, are accustomed to spending money on better tools even though the consumer grade might do the job in many cases.
Two examples of such products are either available now…or will be very soon. The Phantom 4 Pro with the CrystalSky display offers features which are very important to the contractor – from the better picture and video capabilities to the vastly superior display. The upgraded Obstacle Avoidance system is also a big plus for this group of users, as their pilots may not be as experienced or well trained as those of us who have spent years navigating through trees and wires and other barriers. Another upcoming unit from DJI, the Mavic Pro 2 series, will feature more portability, a zoom lens and even better obstacle avoidance. [Read more…]