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The global consumer drones market valued $389.7 million in 2015 and is expected to register a CAGR 28.1% during the forecast period (2016–2022). The market is primarily driven by the increasing demand for racing drones. Besides, advancements in technologies such as geo-fencing and collision avoidance have led to the increased adoption of consumer drones in recent years.
Based on product, the consumer drones market is categorized into multi-rotor drones, nano drones, and others, wherein others include fixed-wing and hybrid drones. Among these, the category of nano drones is expected to register the fastest growth during the forecast period. Nano drones are witnessing increased demand in the North American and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions owing to the portability and high efficiency of these drones in photography and security applications.
GLOBAL CONSUMER DRONES MARKET BY PRODUCT $M (2012-2022)
On the basis of end user, the consumer drones market is classified into prosumers, hobbyists, and photogrammetry professionals. Photogrammetry professionals require drones to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) model of some real-world object or landmass. These users mount camera on the drones to create 3D maps employing aerial photogrammetry. The use of drones among these professionals is increasing and is further expected to witness notable growth over the forecast period.
North America contributed the highest revenue in the consumer drones market during the historical period (2012–2015). This can be attributed to high level of awareness on these drones in the regional population, further leading to increased product adoption. Moreover, the evolution of advanced technologies, such as collision avoidance and geo-fencing that make flying drones safer, has led to the increased adoption of these drones in the North American region.
Globally, the consumer drones market is projected to register the fastest growth in the APAC region, with 31.2% CAGR during the forecast period. This can be majorly ascribed to the increasing demand for compact drones in China, Japan, and South Korea. Japan is one of the largest manufacturers of consumer drones globally and is continuously investing in the research and development (R&D) of these drones.
The increasing popularity of racing drones is also expected to enhance prospects for the growth of the consumer drones market. Multi-rotor drones are increasingly being used in racing applications. Development of advanced multi-rotor drones and their ability to perform under extreme conditions are the primary factors driving their adoption, globally. Some of the fastest consumer drones developed are TBS Gemini, STORM Racing Drone Type A, OFM Seeker 450 v2, and Eachine Racer 250. The TBS Gemini is unique among FPV racing drones due to its six-rotor or hexacopter design. The additional two rotors on the TBS Gemini increase the craft’s performance in various ways, from improved stability to increased agility and speed. Therefore, with the rising popularity of racing drones, the consumer drones market is expected to witness growth in the forecast period.
However, the high cost of consumer drones continues to hinder their market growth. The minimum cost incurred in purchasing a consumer drone is around $650, wherein the procurement of related accessories involves additional costs. This makes consumer drones unaffordable for some consumers, thus limiting their adoption among high-income consumer groups, who generally operate these drones in sports tournaments and large fields. This factor, thus, limits the growth of the consumer drones market to some extent.
Consumer drones operate in a regulated market, with rules allowing or disallowing certain activities. These include the type of airspace in which the pilot could operate or go beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Issues with respect to flights beyond the visual range are still unresolved in several countries, with certain regulations that forbid any flight where the operator cannot see the drone. With increasing regulations on consumer drones, the growth of the consumer drones market is being hindered to some extent.
Some of the key companies operating in the global consumer drones market are SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd., Parrot SA, 3D Robotics Inc., Shenzhen Hubsan Intelligent Co. Ltd., Blade LLC, JJRC Toy Co. Ltd., Syma Toys Industrial Co. Ltd., Walkera Technology Co. Ltd., Guangdong Cheerson Hobby Technology Co. Ltd., and Hobbico Inc.
Key questions answered in the report