Surprise! Drone Sales Double

A new report from the NPD Group reveals that drone sales more than doubled (up 117% to be exact) from February 2016 to February 2017. That’s a big jump, clearly showing the strength of consumers drones in the market. These sales numbers include the a wide variety of drones from $50 mini-drones (which are really just toys) to the $3,000 DJI Inspire 2.

Here are some useful tidbits from the NPD report:

  • During the holiday season drones with a price tag between $50- $100 saw a significant uptick in sales.
  • For drones in the $300-$500 price range, there is a clear consumer demand for premium features.
    • Drones with auto pilot capabilities sold nearly five times more quickly.
    • Drones that feature follow mode functionality sold 19x more quickly.
  • During the first two months of 2017…
    • Drones with a price tag over $300 drove 84% of dollar sales and nearly 40% of unit sales.
    • Drones sold for $1,000+ saw the highest rate of sales.

In roughly the same time period from January 2016 to January 2017 the number of drones registered with the FAA when up by 123%. And according to the numbers in the last two months over 100,000 more drones have been registered with the FAA.

Karma Drone is Back


Finally, the GoPro Karma drone is back on sale on GoPro’s website and a few selected retailers nations wide.

Last November GoPro pulled their Karma Drone from shelves over a a mechanical issue on how the battery was stored, which when it malfunctioned caused the drone to lose power and drop from the sky. Of course GoPro has fix this problem and is hope the Karma drone can offer some new competition in the market.

However, the price is still about the same as when it came out in November–$800 for the drone itself and $1,100 for the drone with a GoPro Hero 5 camera (which makes it comparable in price to a Phantom 4).

GoPro reported 4th quarter sales of $541 million, which was $33 million short of Wall Street’s estimate, so they definitely has an uphill battle. They have already closed their entertainment division and let go of 200 employees. Some analysts think that bringing the Karma back is just an attempt to boost sales numbers a little to reduce Wall Street pressure.

Hopefully, GoPro can make things work, so they can reverse the trend of American drone companies failing to properly bring a consumer drone to market. But still if you ask for the advice of the Drone Dossier team, it is still better to spend your money on a DJI drone.

Speaking of DJI drones, the Daily Dot is having a DJI drone giveaway. All you have to do is create an account with them to enter.

Commercial Application of Drones to Drive Drone Services Market


A recent reports predicts the drone services market will grow to over $1.8 billion by 2022 (up from $705 million in 2016). A key factor in this growth is increased use of drones for commercial applications like monitoring and inspection across numerous industries. Below are some more specific findings in the report.

  • Drones being used in the infrastructure sector will experience the highest rate of growth. Drones will be used for things like taking topographic surveys and construction progress photography.
  • Aerial photography and remote sensing will be the largest part of the overall drone service market.
  • North America is expected to be the largest overall contributor to the drones services market while Asia will see the highest growth rates.

The report also identifies these companies as being key players:

Airware, Inc. (U.S.), Aerobo (U.S.), Cyberhawk Innovations Ltd. (U.K.), Sky Futures Ltd. (U.K.), SenseFly Ltd. (Switzerland), DroneDeploy Inc. (U.S.) and Sharper Shape Inc. (U.S.) among others