The drone industry is still growing at a extremely fast pace: in 2016, the sales of drones in the United States more than doubled, increasing a whopping 117%.
That figure was reported this week by NPD Group, the same market research company that announced Sony as the new #2 company in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera market. NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service found that in the 12 months ending in February 2017, $300+ “premium” drones drove steady sales while low-cost drones between $50 and $100 flew off store shelves.
$300+ drones accounted for 84% of the dollars spent on drones and 40% of the unit sales. The fastest selling drones were those priced at over $1,000, which includes DJI’s wildly popular Phantom line.
In terms of features, the data showed that drones with intelligent autopilot features sold 5 times faster than drones without it, and drones with intelligent follow capabilities sold a whopping 19 times faster.
“While 2017 will see mid-tier and entry level drones (priced under $300) continue to drive unit demand, new form factors and innovations in sensing and imaging technology will help meet the needs of premium drone buyers,” says NPD Group executive director Ben Arnold.