Consumer Drone Market to Reach $4.6 in 2025

January 19, 2016      

Drone registration won’t be scaring away new hobbyists, according to a new report. ABI Research predicts more than 90 million consumer drones will ship during 2025, up from 4.9 million in 2014. And consumer drone revenues in 2025 will reach $4.6 billion.

Judging by these predictions and the buzz about drones at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, drones certainly aren’t a fad. ABI finds that toy/hobbyist drones accounted for 30 percent of consumer drone revenue in 2014, while the prosumer segment captured 69 percent. However, the research firm anticipates toy/hobbyist drone to surpass prosumer drone revenue in 2017, and will account for more than two-thirds of the $4.6 billion consumer drone market in 2025.

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“For the study period, the overwhelming majority of consumer UAVs shipped will be toy/hobbyist UAVs, followed by prosumer UAVs, while kits and custom UAVs will remain a small market,” says Phil Solis, Research Director at ABI Research. “Overall, growth in the consumer drone sector will remain strong, spurred by the creation of new use cases and the adoption of the technological advancements generated by well-funded market leaders such as DJI, 3DR, Parrot, and Yuneec, among others.”

This next finding shouldn’t come as a surprise, but ABI also says consumer drones with at least one camera will outsell drones without a camera (do they even make camera-less drones anymore?). Obviously aerial photography is popular among drone hobbyists, but ABI says machine-vision applications, such as motion tracking, obstacle avoidance and other advanced functionalities, also require cameras.

“It will be interesting to watch what happens as consumer UAV technology continues to evolve,” concludes Solis. “The future challenge will lie in finding ways to keep the products interesting. By transforming consumer UAVs into flying smartphone-like platforms, product vendors will be able to add innovative technological functionality into the devices with an eye on more open application development to enable innovative use cases. This will enable products to hold consumers’ interest longer, increase product value, and expand product lifespan.”

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